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What you need to know if you’re seeking joint physical custody

Divorcing parents in California have to agree on a custody arrangement that benefits their child. Custody issues are usually some of the most difficult parts of any divorce. In cases where abuse or neglect isn’t a concern, many courts feel that sharing joint custody is best for the child. If you’re thinking about a joint custody agreement, here are a few things you need to know.

What is joint physical custody?

Joint physical custody involves determining where your child will live after your divorce is finalized. Custody also determines each parent’s rights to make important decisions about their child, such as:

  • Medical treatment
  • Religious upbringing
  • Education

Joint custody typically involves moving the child or children back and forth between the two parents’ homes. Although this arrangement can be hard in the beginning, many parents find that there are plenty of ways to make joint custody work for the entire family.

What details are included in joint custody agreements?

If you and your ex decide that joint custody is the best choice for your family, there are many details you’ll need to work out. For example, where will your child spend holidays? Who will cover expenses like medical bills and transportation costs? Joint custody agreements usually spell out things like:

  • Pick-up and drop-off locations during custody exchanges
  • Both parent’s rights to make decisions on the child’s behalf
  • How disputes will be handled if you can’t agree with your ex about a decision
  • Child support and other financial responsibilities for the child
  • How third-party visitations with other family members will be handled
  • The child’s living arrangement during the school year

Although the above list isn’t exhaustive, it can act as a basic guide to help you decide on an arrangement that works best for everyone. If you have questions about child custody and visitation, your attorney may help.