How to Get a Joint Custody Agreement
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Getting a Joint Custody Agreement
Joint custody is a type of child custody arrangement wherein custody and duties are split between the parents. Joint custody is different from shared custody in several ways. First, joint custody usually implies that the parents have unequal custody time with the child. In comparison, shared custody seeks to give the parents equal custody rights and time with the child.
Due to the unequal custody rights, joint custody may often involve other legal issues such as child support, supervised visitation, or other concerns.
What Is a Joint Custody Agreement?
A joint custody agreement is an agreement regarding the division of child custody time and responsibilities between the parents. This agreement is often entered into voluntarily by the parents.
The agreement usually gets preserved in a document that is submitted to a judge for approval. Once the judge approves the joint custody agreement, it will then be converted into a formal court order which is legal enforceable under law.
Joint custody agreements must often be formulated with great care and attention to details. As mentioned, joint custody implies that the time is not equal between the parents. Thus, the custody schedule can sometimes be complicated. Unlike a shared custody arrangement where the parents often alternate weeks, a joint custody arrangement may involve very specific times and dates for custody.
What Are Some Tips for Getting a Joint Custody Agreement?
Some tips for getting a joint custody arrangement include:
- You must specifically request for joint custody – it isn’t granted automatically during divorce or other proceedings. Joint custody is often requested as an alteration of existing sole custody arrangements.
- All parties will benefit if the parties are willing to work cooperatively in order to reach a suitable agreement for the child’s schedule. Remember that it is considered the child’s schedule, not just the parents’.
- Joint custody agreements can sometimes be worked out through non-adversarial methods such as family law mediation. This can often be more time and cost-efficient for the parents.
- Lastly, joint custody arrangements can often be modified in the future due to changed circumstances. These include new jobs or termination from a job, relocation to a new home, remarriage, and other circumstances.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Getting a Joint Custody Agreement?
Regardless of whether you’re seeking joint custody through a divorce, through mediation, or other avenues, it’s in your best interests to hire a child custody lawyer for assistance during the process. A qualified family law attorney in your area can assist you with your case to determine the appropriate legal options for you.
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Last Modified: 07-21-2014 11:18 AM PDT
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