Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Joint child custody or shared child custody -- what to do

Some of the most important decisions a couple considering divorce have to make relates to the custody of their children. In most cases, parents are reluctant to given up any of their rights or access to their children. Each parent often believes that he or she is the one who can provide the best care and therefore does not want to relent when it comes to child custody.  

Getting to know the meaning of the terminology linked to child custody can perhaps help when the time comes to decide on what type of custody will be best for a particular family. A good understanding of the difference between shared and joint custody may assist a New Jersey couple decide what would suit their children best. Knowledge is power and an understanding of parental rights linked to shared and joint custody can prove to be very helpful.

Shared custody allows parents to literally share children equally, meaning that a child will spend half of the time with each of his or her parents, with some flexibility considering factors such as a parent's lifestyle. Depending on the agreement reached, parents may also have the same rights to be involved in making important decisions relating the lives of their children, requiring cooperation between parents. However in many circumstances, this duty falls mainly on one of the parents.

Joint custody, on the other hand, provides for the right of both parents to share in all aspects of bringing up their kids. When deciding on joint custody, the couple must be sure that they can maintain a relationship displaying understanding and care. A joint custody agreement can be amended as needed, as long as the changes do not run contrary to the best interests of the children involved. 

Either type of child custody can be the right decision, depending on individual circumstances.  Choosing which option will be the best in an individual situation requires that a number of factors must be considered. Those individuals who are unsure of what will be the best choice may benefit from consulting with a New Jersey family law attorney for ongoing advice and support.


Source:, "Joint Custody vs. Shared Custody", Stacy Taylor, Accessed on Feb. 2, 2017

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