Frequently Asked Questions
A joint custody order can have one or both parts. Joint legal custody refers to both parents sharing the major decisions affecting the child which can include school, health care and religious training. Other matters which can be handled under these kinds of custody agreements can include almost anything which both parties believe is important.
Joint physical custody refers to the time spent with each parent. The amount of time if flexible, and can range from a moderate period of time for one parent, such as every other weekend, to a child dividing the time equally between the two parents' homes. In situations where the time spent with both parents will be divided equally, it helps if the parents live close to one another.
Most commonly, a grandparent (or other permitted third party) may petition for visitation after the death of a parent or upon divorce of the parents. Some statutes allow petitions when a parent is incarcerated, when a child is born out of wedlock, or when the child has previously lived with the grandparent.