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What's the Difference Between Joint and Legal Custody?

Aug 14, 2015

child custody

If you've gone through a divorce or are in the process of going through one, you may be worried about custody issues. This is a very common concern as the children are very important. Unless you have a reason to feel like you won't get custody, you should understand the differences between Joint and Legal Custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is very simple. If you are granted legal custody, you have the right to make every decision for your children's upbringing without consulting anybody else. You get to be the decision maker about where your child goes to school where they live and all other decisions for their upbringing.

Legal custody is uncommon in most divorces, but it's still possible in some cases. If you think legal custody may be granted to you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you should speak to your lawyer about what this means.

Joint Custody

The most common type of custody is joint custody. Typically, one of the parents will have the children during the week to give them structure with attending school. The other parent may get them every other weekend and a few weeks in the summer or over other breaks from school. This all depends on the agreement that can be worked out between the couple and their lawyers.

With joint custody, decisions about the upbringing of the children are made between both parents and not just one. If this is the case, you will have to learn to get along with your ex-spouse enough to make these decisions. Anytime anger gets in the way and you make decisions without speaking with each other, it could lead you right back to court. You may end up dealing with a change in custody hearing, which can be frustrating and hard to take.

Make sure you understand the custody agreement and the possibilities if you are going through a divorce. Speak with your attorney for more details about the possibilities when it comes to custody of your children.



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