What is Joint Custody?

Joint custody is a common type of custody arrangement that gives both parents the chance to be in the lives of their children. Both parents are also responsible for making major decisions about their children, like those relating to healthcare or education. Our child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ can help you fight for the kind of custody arrangement that works best for you and your family.

What Are the Two Types of Joint Custody?

There are actually two different types of joint custody. Joint legal custody is the common arrangement where both parents have the right to spend time with their children and make decisions for them. In many cases, one parent is the custodial parent and has a home where the children spend most of their time. The other parent gets visitation rights.

In joint physical custody agreements, the child spends equal time with both parents. This can work if both parents live in the same area. If parents do not live in the same school district, such an arrangement would be difficult to argue for since it could affect the child’s education. It could also be argued that getting dragged back and forth to different areas so often can affect a child’s ability to maintain friendships.

The top priority here is always going to be the well-being of the child.

What Factors Can a Court Weigh When Determining Custody?

The court will make a few considerations before awarding joint custody. A judge might look at:

  • The work schedules of each parent
  • Activities that the children are involved in
  • How much each parent travels
  • Any unique childcare needs
  • If parents have extended family members nearby

Does a Joint Custody Arrangement Affect How Much Child Support is Paid?

A joint custody agreement could affect how much child support is paid. If a child spends equal time with both parents, that could obviously be a factor in the calculations. However, most of the time there is still a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent when joint legal custody is granted. The non-custodial parent is most likely the person who will have to make child support payments to their former spouse.

How Can Parents Make Joint Custody Agreements Work?

Co-parenting can be difficult, especially after a difficult divorce. However, you need to do everything that you can to make this arrangement work, for your sake and for the sake of your children. You should:

  • Put your issues with your former spouse aside for now
  • Make your children the first priority
  • Try to develop a comprehensive co-parenting plan

Being successful here can make a big difference in your life and in the lives of your children.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you are ready to fight for what’s in your child’s best interest, you should have some help. Our experienced attorneys can help you advocate for yourself and your children effectively during the divorce process. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and schedule a consultation today. We would love to tell you more about how we can be of assistance.

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