Child custody is a major issue for Michigan parents who are ending their relationship. While it can be contentious, there are times when it can also be amicable. It is easy to say that many cases will end up somewhere in between, but they are all different, and parents -- regardless of their situation -- should be aware of how joint custody is handled and what the two kinds of joint custody are.
With joint custody, there is legal and physical custody. When the parents get joint legal custody, both will be able to take part in the key decisions of the child's life. Any important decision, whether it is related to medical care, the child's education or what religion he or she will follow, will be determined by both parents. The living arrangements are not impacted by joint legal custody. The child may still live with one parent, and the other parent will be grant parenting time.
If there is joint physical custody, then the parents will share the child's residential responsibilities. In general, when there is joint physical custody, it will also have joint legal custody in the order. When determining the schedule for joint physical custody, there are two basic ways in which it is scheduled. One is with the parents equally dividing the amount of time they spend with the child. This can be split in a variety of ways, whichever is convenient and agreeable. The other is when the child will live with one parent while he or she is in school and the other parent during the summer. This is also known as 9/3 based on how much time the child will spend in school (nine months) and during the summer (three months).
Other factors will enter into the equation such as holidays and special occasions. When parents are trying to decide on how the child custody arrangements will be organized, having a grasp of the alternatives with joint legal custody and joint physical custody is important. Of course, if there are other issues or disputes, these must also be considered with child custody issues. With any child custody case, the parents must remember the importance of legal assistance. This is true whether the couple is friendly with one another or not.