There are many different ways a court can divide and arrange custody. However, the different plans always follow certain rules.
The Illinois Department of Human Services explains one of the common options for custody is joint custody, which covers any situation where the two parents share almost equal custody of the child.
In a joint custody situation, the child will live part-time with each parent. Often, this type of arrangement allows for equal time. Parents may trade off each week or every other week. Sometimes, parents will share time during the week, such as switching custody every three days.
In a joint custody situation, both parents care for the child. They may work as a team to raise and nurture the child. It is important to note that joint custody can be physical and legal or just one or the other. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make decisions for the child, while physical is the right for the child to be physically with you. If you do not have joint legal custody, then you may be unable to make certain care decisions.
Joint custody can be beneficial to the child because it allows him or her to develop a relationship with each parent. It also eliminates the absent parent situation where the child only gets to see one parent for a couple of days each month.
Courts like joint custody arrangements because it is a known fact that children do better in these situations when they have both parents present and active in their lives. The court also likes to encourage parents to handle their responsibilities when it comes to raising their children.