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As the divorce is being settled each party determines who gets what assets and possessions. It’s a vital part of the process and a difficult one, especially when it comes to custody of the children. What if you and your ex-spouse are granted joint custody?

Joint legal custody means both parents are able to make legal decisions for their child.

Whereas joint physical custody means both parents have legal rights to have the child live with them. What are the advantages or disadvantages?

Joint custody means both parents share custody of a child or children after divorce. Shared custody can be good for the child/children. The child would then have the influence of both parents and can be a common ground for the parents, creating the need to work together. This encourages the divorced couple to be cordial, creating a friendly and positive environment for the child.

Joint custody also relieves the stress of raising a child as a single parent. The responsibility is shared which helps either parent feel involved and the child feel both parents’ involvement.

On the flip side, there are some disadvantages to joint custody. Physical joint custody would mean that both parents have legal rights for the child to live with them. Which means the child would be have to move from one parents’ home to the other constantly. This can be hard for a child, making it difficult to adjust from home to home.

This is particularly hard for younger children where stability is most important. There is no pretending that joint custody is easy. Some divorced couples decide to make the best of it, others it is just too difficult and can cause more headaches and fights. The biggest disadvantage of them all is how the child may feel—the needs of the child can go ignored. This can happen especially if either parent uses the joint custody to shirk responsibilities.

Joint custody is not ideal for all divorced couples. Ultimately, it is whatever is best for the child/children. If parents are able to work together cooperatively then joint custody could work, however if they cannot– it can be detrimental to the child down the line.

If the divorced parties involved can agree to work together for the benefit of their child/children then joint custody would theoretically be a good idea. Custody is not an easy puzzle to solve, best thing to do is seek advice from a child custody attorney to help you decide what are the advantages and disadvantages in your particular case.

If you are facing divorce and have children, a Family Law and Divorce Attorney can help. Custody cases include many legal issues that an experienced and knowledgeable attorney will help you navigate and fight for you during the entire process so that you can continue to grow your relationship with your child.

Rappleye & Rappleye Family Law Firm in Jackson has been helping Michigan residents with all aspects of divorce for over 60 years! In custody cases we handle all aspects of legal issues, including: sole, joint, termination and adoption, as well as grandparents rights. Let us help you in your family law case, and we will put our experience to work for you! Call today for a consultation.