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Questions about Joint Custody Law

Child custody laws can be very confusing since there are so many different aspects to child custody. Once a couple has separated or divorced, they are often faced with shared custody or joint legal custody of their child. Sometimes the nuances and technicalities of joint custody can result in questions, doubts or disagreements. The Experts on JustAnswer can answer most of your child custody questions and inform you about the legal implications to help you stay on the right side of child custody laws. There are many aspects of joint custody that may be confusing to someone not familiar with these laws. Below are the most common questions asked on JustAnswer about joint custody law.

What is Joint Custody?

Joint custody is defined as both parents sharing equal rights to make decisions that affect their child. The word ‘custody’ encompasses decisions that could include, but are not limited to: health insurance, residential location, school participation and religion. This type of child custody respects the equally important role and involvement of each parent in the child’s life. Joint custody can often be confusing for parents that do not understand their individual role in the child’s custody, have disagreements over each parent’s responsibilities, or if one or both parents are ignorant of the legal obligations. As a result, “What is joint custody?” is one of the most frequently asked questions on JustAnswer.

What is Custody vs. Guardianship?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between child custody and guardianship, you’re not alone. Parents are the legal guardians until the child is 18 years of age. Child custody is the right to have physical control over the child granted to one parent or another in a divorce or separation. Sometimes, parents are not able to care for the children and the next of kin or some other relative may be granted guardianship of the child. The difference between guardianship and custody can be confusing. Many of the questions that are asked of Experts on JustAnswer are about child custody and guardianship. If you are faced with questions regarding child custody laws, ask the Experts on JustAnswer. They can provide you with expert legal insights.

How to Modify Joint Custody if the Agreement is Broken?

Modifying joint custody can be a lengthy process. You must first file a motion with the court expressing why you would like to modify the child custody arrangement. You must be able to prove you have the grounds for asking for the modification by showing just cause that the opposite parent has broken the original joint custody agreement. If you are not sure of specific factors that can impact your ability to have your joint child custody agreement modified, ask lawyers on JustAnswer. They can help answer your specific questions and point you in the right direction.

Legal Joint Custody of Grandchildren

When the actual parents can no longer care for their children, the grandparents can step in and take over legal joint custody. Grandparents must file a motion to take full custody of the children in the event the parents can no longer care for them. There are specific steps that must be taken and procedures to follow when grandparents file for joint custody of a child. Child abandonment by parents, child abuse, and neglect of children are prime examples of times where grandparents might want to take legal joint custody. If you are faced with a situation where you feel there may be a need for grandparents to file for joint custody of children, or have questions on grandparent’s rights for joint child custody, the Experts online on JustAnswer can provide you with quick affordable answers.

Child Custody and Tax Returns

When parents divorce or separate, either one of the two parents is awarded custody of the children, or they may be awarded joint custody. At the time of filing State and Federal Income Tax, it can become confusing as to who exactly is able to claim the children — especially in the case of joint custody. At the time of the divorce or separation, there may or may not be verbal agreements between parents about custody of the children. Sometimes, various issues about child custody are not resolved or agreed upon during divorce or separation.

If there are verbal agreements in place, they may not have a legal standing and may not hold up in a court of law. You should protect yourself and the interest of the children by filing all verbal agreements with the court. The reason for this is: if one party falls back or dishonors the agreement, the IRS will grant any returns to be paid to the custodial parent that claims the dependency exemptions. There are specific forms that the second parent may have to sign in case there is an agreement to let you claim one child even though you are not the custodial parent. These types of issues provoke challenges and can give rise to many questions. The Experts on JustAnswer regularly answer these questions. As qualified Experts, they can answer your tough child custody questions — whether they pertain to IRS, specific laws in your state or other aspects of child custody.

You can get quick and affordable answers to tough questions and get insights on the course of action you can take. All you need to do is ask a lawyer on JustAnswer.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9160
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
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4 Family Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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Recent Joint Custody Questions

  • My ex-husband filed for a custody modification of our 5 year

    My ex-husband filed for a custody modification of our 5 year old son on 9/19/2014 (this is his 5 attempt to gain custody since 2011) but he has not served me paperwork, I know about this case by searching my name on the Orange County case access and ordering the forms be sent to me. He has made many false accusations against me such as physically abusive to my son - HUGE lie. I have sole physical custody and joint legal but I have the final say in legal. There is a domestic violence case as well - he committed DV against me. But when he filed the clerk set up a mediation appointment (10/23) and a court date (11/6). I am not filing a response due to him not serving me but I do plan on attending the court date and requesting the judge dismiss the case with prejudice. But I was wondering if I should or should not attend the mediation. I want to catch him off guard in court so he has no time to do anything between the two dates but I want to know if that is a smart idea for me NOT to attend the mediation this week and ONLY attend the court date in 2 weeks.
  • My boyfriend is divorce and live in MA had 2 children in

    My boyfriend is divorce and live in MA had 2 children in joint custody. I live 25 miles away in CT we are in relationship for more then 2.5 years. My boyfriend X wife told him he cant take the children across state line and stay over night in my home, he can lose the children custody over doing so. we are talking about Friday night dinner and staying over night when it is his parenting time and bring the children back to her in time. is this a problem ?

  • My 12 year old son wants to live with me full time, and end

    My 12 year old son wants to live with me full time, and end the joint custody arrangement I have with my ex-wife. We all live in Gardner Ma. What kind of odds is he facing if his mother refuses his request?
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