What is Joint Custody?

child with joint custody

When custody arrangements are made, the best interests of the child are the main thing that the court considers. This is why it is common for parents to be awarded joint custody, an arrangement that gives both parents responsibility and a chance to participate in the lives of their children. If you are engaged in a custody battle of your own, a Tazewell County child custody lawyer from our firm may be able to help.

What Are the Types of Joint Custody?

Technically, there are two different types of joint custody. Joint legal custody is the more common arrangement. It gives both parents the responsibility for making major decisions about their children. This includes choices about schooling and healthcare. Both parents are expected to act in the child’s best interest, no matter who has primary custody or whose care the child is in at the time.

Joint physical custody is less common. In this arrangement, the parents split time evenly. This can work in some circumstances, especially when the parents live in the same area.

When you have joint legal custody, you may not have equal time with your children. You would have the right to see them though. An arrangement where one parent gets visitation every other weekend and a day or two in each week is common.

Is Joint Custody the Right Arrangement For My Family?

Joint custody can work for many families, but whether or not it works for yours can depend on a wide variety of factors. It’s important to consider matters like these before any custody decision is made:

  • Work schedules of the parents
  • The unique needs of each child
  • Any activities or commitments that children have
  • Who has extended family members nearby
  • If either parent has to travel frequently for work

How Can a Couple Make Joint Custody Work?

Co-parenting can be hard, especially after a contentious divorce. The parents who can put aside their issues with their former spouse and make a co-parenting plan are likely to face fewer issues. Keep the best interests of your children in mind and make caring for them your top priority, despite any problems that you still have with your ex.

How is Child Support Affected By My Custody Arrangement in Illinois?

Child support can be affected by a joint custody arrangement. This is because the calculation for child support does not just look at the income of each parent. It also considers how many overnight stays each parent has. If each parent has more than 146 overnights, that can drastically affect how the court determines which parent pays support and how much they will owe each month.

Talk to a Family Lawyer

When you are ready to learn more about how a lawyer can help you fight for the best interests of you and your children, contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. We can tell you more about how what we can do at an initial consultation.

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