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What Are Shared Custody Schedules?

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What Is Shared Custody?

Shared custody is a special type of child custody arrangement. In a shared custody arrangement, the court seeks to provide both parents with relatively equal rights and time when it comes to custody of a child or children. This is much different from other types of child custody such sole or full custody. Shared custody aims to provide the child with equal opportunities to be with each parent.

Thus, shared custody is often not available for certain situations. For instance, shared custody may not be recommended when:

  • The parties have difficulties in cooperating with one another
  • There is a history of domestic abuse, child abuse, or child neglect
  • There is a great discrepancy between the child-rearing capabilities of each parent
  • The custody arrangement would not be beneficial for the child’s best interests

How Are Custody Schedules Determined?

Shared custody schedules may be determined according to several different factors. These may include:

  • Schedule and activities of the child
  • Special needs or appointments for the child
  • Availability of each parent
  • Recommendations by a professional counselor or family psychologist

In addition, child custody schedules may be adjusted over time. This may be needed for instance if one of the parent experiences a “major change in life circumstances.” An example of this is where one parent relocates to a different state.

Is Shared Custody the Same as Joint Custody?

Shared custody is similar to joint custody. However, shared custody usually refers to arrangements where the parents receive equal custody rights and time. In comparison, joint custody may refer to arrangements where one parent has majority custody rights, and the other parent has only minimal visitation or custody rights. Different regions or jurisdictions may use each of these terms in different ways.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Shared Custody Schedules?

Formulating child custody schedules can often be a complex task. You may need to hire a family law attorney if you need assistance with child custody arrangements, schedules, or other issues. A qualified lawyer can provide you with legal representation during the process and can also guide you towards the proper options. Also, if you need clarification on any laws or statutes, your attorney can help explain your rights in the situation.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 04-04-2017 04:17 AM PDT

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