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Understanding joint custody in California

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Child Custody |

Joint custody is a common arrangement in California when parents separate or divorce. It involves both parents sharing the responsibilities, parenting time, and decisions for their children.

If you are trying to decide on your custody arrangement, it is important to understand how joint custody may be the best decision for your family.

Joint legal custody

With joint legal custody, both parents share the right to make important decisions about their child’s life. This includes choices about education, healthcare, and religious upbringing, and it means parents must communicate and agree on significant issues affecting their child.

Joint physical custody

Joint physical custody refers to the amount of parenting time the child spends with each party. It doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split. The child lives with both parents at different times, but one home might be primary. The schedule depends on what works best for the child and parents.

Benefits of joint custody

Joint custody can benefit children by maintaining strong relationships with both parents. It helps children feel loved and supported by both sides. It also encourages parents to cooperate and share parenting duties.

Challenges of joint custody

While joint custody has benefits, it can also be challenging. Parents need to communicate well and be flexible. Conflicts can arise if parents disagree on decisions or schedules. It’s important to keep the child’s best interests in mind and work towards a cooperative relationship.

How to make joint custody work

To make joint custody work, parents should:

  1. Communicate openly and respectfully.
  2. Be flexible with schedules.
  3. Focus on the child’s needs.
  4. Seek mediation if conflicts arise.

By focusing on the child’s well-being, parents can make joint custody a positive experience for everyone involved.


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