During a child custody dispute, it may be the wishes of either one or both separating parents to obtain joint custody of their children. Joint custody is the type of child custody awarded by the courts in which both parents are awarded custody of the children.
Joint custody will allow for the children to spend time with both parents, often times living with both parents at the same time. Typically, to get joint custody, there are certain things that must be present, both on a legal plane, as well in terms of the relationship of the couple after the divorce. To get joint custody of children, here are general considerations that may be of some help:
1. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY AND FRIENDLY RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FORMER SPOUSE – Though joint custody may prove to be quite beneficial for the children in order to maintain a relationship with both parents, joint custody will only work under certain circumstances. To get custody may only require certain legal requirements in order to be awarded this kind of child custody.
However, in order to make joint custody work for both the children and the involved former spouses, a friendly and respectful relationship must exist. To get joint custody will inherently mean that there will be the necessity of communication and interaction between both parents. If the reasons and consequences of the result have resulted in negative emotions and feelings to exist between parents, joint custody may not be the best possible solution.
Therefore, aside from the legal requirements, establishing a healthy and amicable relationship with the former spouse may arguably be the most important element to not only get joint custody, but also to make it work.
2. CONSULT THE SERVICES OF A DIVORCE ATTORNEY – The process to get joint custody of children may prove to be quite complex, particularly because the laws and statutes may vary from state to state. Employing the services of an attorney may be the best way to get joint custody. A joint custody petition will be needed for the proposal or request of joint custody to the courts.
The attorney will be best suited to draft the joint custody petition, though the spouse will be responsible for supplying the necessary information. The petition will and should include reasons as to why joint custody is in the best interest of the child. Furthermore, it may also include information as to how the spouse is preparing and intends to provide for the child while in joint custody.
3. OPEN MIND AND WILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE – To get joint custody would entail communicating such a wish with the former spouse. Therefore, there will be some inherent need to compromise between both parents in order to make joint custody a possibility. Furthermore, because two forms of joint custody apply, such as joint physical custody and joint legal custody, one should determine which is best for the child.
Joint physical custody involves both parents taking care and housing the child, while joint legal custody includes such responsibilities, but grants rights to both parents in regards to the child’s upbringing. In the case of the latter, compromise will be the most important aspect needed to make joint custody work for both the parents, and most importantly, the children involved. Compromise in terms of visitation rights will often times be the issue commonly discussed involving joint custody matters.