2/20/2018

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Joint Child Custody

Joint child custody is defined as an arrangement in which both parents agree to retain shared legal custody of children, just as when they were still married to each other.

In a joint custody arrangement, the children don't necessarily spend an equal amount of time with both parents, but both parents have a equal access to the children and they both have an equal say in parental decisions such as healthcare, education, and other important issues that relate to their children's well being.

Cooperation between parents may be one of the greater benefits of joint custody because may alleviate some of the devastating legal battles that come with divorce, which is beneficial to the children, and the parents, too.

Most parents in divorce situations who have made the decision to share legal custody seem to think that it was a great idea since it creates a calming effect on the divorce proceeding and makes both parents feel that they are not being relegated to secondary roles in raising their children.

This makes it easier for the parent who has to pay child support to willingly make an effort to pay them.

  • Note: The issue that many men bring up when they are being charged with nonpayment of child support is that the mothers do not allow them to see their children. This may or may not be justifiable reasoning, but it is shown that when a man has more contact with his children, he is more inclined to pay his child support payments. This is true, although not with all men.

In a joint custody arrangement, children may live half the year, half the month, every other month, every other week, or whatever arrangement meets the needs of both parents. In this case, the parents usually live in the same neighborhood so the child or children can attend the same school.

This also gives the parents the freedom to make personal choices that benefit themselves, like going back to school, taking vacations, or just having time to spend to themselves without the worry of having the children to care for all the time.

Most parents who seek joint custody enjoyed being around their children and taking care of them while they were married.

Although joint custody arrangements work very well for some children, it puts a strain on others. Some children get frustrated with what is called "the suitcase phenomenon." The get tired of moving from one home to another, packing and unpacking, and staying with mom or dad at different times.

There is also the view that one parent's home is better that the other's, or the car is newer, or the neighborhood is safer or cleaner, who takes them shopping the most, and other issues that children have, which may, or may not be real concerns.

With all child custody arrangements, the amount of attention given to children by either parent makes a big difference in how the child feels. Discipline is another issue because one parent may have stricter rules and guidelines to follow than the other.

One other issue that needs to be mentioned is the discrepancy of income. Just because both parents agree to the joint custody arrangement, it does not mean that child support payments are discontinued. The reality is that child support payments may make the difference between living in a certain comfort zone or constantly being in debt and having to struggle financially.

 

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