Joint Custody Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Joint Custody, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Joint Custody?

It refers to the custody of the anything, by the orders of court, awarded to all the parties involved in the lawsuit. Most often the term is used for the custody of the child in cases of divorce. There are two types of custody. Joint physical custody – Where both the parents have to follow the courts order to have reasonable access to the child. Joint Legal custody – Where both parents make a combined decision for the child’s education, health, financial matter etc. If there anything new, one has to consult other.

History and Meaning of Joint Custody

Joint custody is a legal term used to refer to the sharing of the care and responsibility of a child by both parents in cases of divorce or separation. It is a concept that emerged in the late 20th century as a response to the traditional tendency for children to be awarded sole custody to one parent, typically the mother. The shift towards joint custody was driven by research suggesting that a child's best interests were served by maintaining an ongoing relationship with both parents.

Examples of Joint Custody

  1. Jane and John divorced last year, and they have joint custody of their two children, with the children spending alternating weeks with each parent.
  2. Maria and Juan are going through a separation and have agreed to share joint legal custody of their child, but Maria will have primary physical custody.
  3. After a lengthy court battle, Tom and Sarah were awarded joint custody of their son, but the child's primary residence will be with Sarah.

Legal Terms Similar to Joint Custody

  1. Sole custody: When one parent is awarded full custody of the child.
  2. Physical custody: Referring to where the child lives and spends the majority of their time.
  3. Legal custody: Referring to the right of a parent to make important decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as education and medical care.
  4. Shared parenting: A term used interchangeably with joint custody to refer to an arrangement in which both parents share equal parenting time and responsibilities.
  5. Co-parenting: A term used to describe a parenting arrangement in which both parents work together to raise and care for their child, regardless of whether they share physical custody.