There is nothing easy about sharing one’s children with an ex-partner. A parent may be used to seeing their child every day and having an active role in their development. When that parent chooses to divorce their co-parent and live separately from them, though, they may also have to learn how to live separate and apart from their children.
While some parents are granted sole custody of their kids from the courts hearing their family law matters, others may be granted joint custody. Joint custody can apply to both or either of the two forms of custody in Michigan – physical and legal. When parents share legal custody they may both make decisions about the child’s well-being. When the parents share physical custody they may both spend time with their child in their home.
Even though joint custody grants in both parents certain post-divorce rights, it does not mean that the parents will have an equal role in parenting their children. Particularly when it comes to physical custody, joint custodial parenting may mean finding a workable, balanced schedule off of which the parents can agree to spend time with their kids. Parents may have disproportionate amounts of time with their children and still share custody of them through a court-backed agreement or order.
Getting custody of one’s kids during or after a divorce can be a big step in a parent’s plan to maintain normalcy in their children’s lives. However, joint custody does not necessarily mean equal custody, and parents must learn to understand that fairness and their kids’ best interests may not be supported through equal custodial times. More information on this important topic should be sought from a knowledgeable family law attorney.