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Joint or shared child custody - what is the difference?

Posted on in Child Custody
The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.

When Illinois couples decide to end their marriages and go their separate ways, the divorce process can be complicated - particularly if there are children involved. While most parents want what is best for their children, it could be challenging to balance the needs and schedules of the children with their own. Before making decisions about child custody, it might be best to understand the differences between joint and shared custody.

Although it is often perceived as the same thing, there are differences between the two types of custody. Shared custody allows each parent physical custody by providing food, shelter and care for 50 percent of the time. However, it is a flexible arrangement by which parents can agree on parenting plans that will also accommodate their own schedules. This type of child custody allows parents to determine whether the rights to make important decisions will be shared or allocated to one parent.

With joint custody, every aspect of the child's care and upbringing must be shared equally between the two parents. A continued good relationship between them is crucial because they will have to meet frequently to make joint decisions. This arrangement prohibits one parent to make any changes to important aspects of the child's life without the consent of the other parent. This includes health care, education, religion, extracurricular activities and more.

Because decisions about child custody will affect the lives of both parents and the children for years to come, they must be made with care. The individual lifestyles of the parents may change drastically after the divorce, and workable child custody arrangements are crucial. The support and guidance of an experienced Illinois family law attorney can help a divorcing parent to make practical decisions that will be in the best interests of the child.

Source: divorce.lovetoknow.com, "Joint Custody vs. Shared Custody", Stacy Taylor, Accessed on May 18, 2018

Tagged in: child custody
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