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Child custody: Cooperative parents might make things easier

You have often heard us discuss child custody on our blog. One such case was last week when we covered the Jenner divorce and how Bruce and Kris Jenner are seeking joint custody of their 17-year-old daughter. That might have our readers wondering exactly what this means.

Joint custody occurs when the parents will both work together to raise the child. The parents will share physical custody, legal custody or both. If they share physical custody, that means that the child will usually spend equal amounts of time with each parent. If the parents share legal custody, they will make the choices about the child's life together. If they share both, they both spend time with the child and make choices about the child's life.

For parents sharing joint child custody, there are some interesting points to consider. One such point is the child's schooling. If the child is in school, the parents will have to determine how to schedule parenting time in a way that doesn't involve the child missing school. If the parents live close to each other, it might still be possible for the child to catch the school bus to go to school. If the parent's don't live close to each other, they will have to make plans for getting the child to and from school.

The alternative to joint custody is sole custody. Sole custody means that one parent raises the child. The other parent might have some contact with the child, but the parent with sole custody is the one who is totally responsible for the child. The non-custodial parent might be awarded visitation, depending on what that court deems is in the child's best interest.

Child custody can be tricky. It is important to think about what is best for the child as you go through the process. It might be tempting to let the stress of the divorce proceedings flow into the child custody hearing, but that isn't always best. Learn your options for child custody so you can think about what would be best for your child.

Source: FindLaw, "The Various Types of Child Custody" Oct. 04, 2014

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