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Joint Custody - Way to Help Maintain Parental Rights

Posted on 7/29/2013 by Thomas Scott in Child Custody Divorce

During a divorce, the welfare of any children involved remains a high priority. If both parents agree and can successfully submit a parenting plan, the courts may grant joint custody. This can be a very positive situation for the children involved and more details will be discussed here.

During a divorce, the welfare of any children involved remains a high priority.  If both parents agree and can successfully submit a parenting plan, the courts may grant joint custody.  This can be a very positive situation for the children involved and more details will be discussed here.

Parents who are awarded joint custody (or shared parenting as it is now commonly referred to) have the same legal rights and responsibilities for their children.  This is in contrast to a parent who has been awarded sole custody.  In that case the parent takes complete responsibility for decisions affecting their children.

With a joint custody situation, both parents take equal responsibility.  This can be a difficult situation to arrange for but if parents are cooperative and willing to work together this can be a good situation for the children involved.

A request for joint custody can be made by either parent or it can be done jointly.  For either case, a shared parenting plan has to be presented to the courts.  This plan must cover a number of things.

The first is the designation of which schools the children will attend.  It will further designate the address involved which the schools will use.  Then a detailed visitation schedule must be established.
This plan should address the amount of time the children spend with each parent and at what intervals.  It should also address holidays, vacations, etc.  And the plan should account for changes in visitation which might need to occur.

The plan needs to clearly address child support.  Although both parents will be sharing custody and responsibility for the children, clear guidelines for financial support must be established.  In the vast majority of joint custody cases, a child support order is still normally required.

Next there must be provisions for medical insurance coverage and medical expenses for the children.  In other words one or both parents must provide for their children’s medical coverage and also detail how non covered expenses will be taken care of.

And the shared parenting plan should also address how the tax exemptions for the children will be handled. Since the divorced couple will now be filing separately this is an important consideration.  Given the benefits involved this can be an important consideration.

There are many other considerations which must be incorporated into a joint custody request such as how decision making will be allocated, college expenses (if applicable), religious issues, and many other specific plans and decisions.

If a joint custody order is granted, it normally remains in effect until the children are at least 18 years of age.  Until that time the joint custody order may be modified upon request from either parent.