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Questions about Joint Physical Custody Laws

One of the things that couples filing for a divorce or legal separation need to consider is what happens to their children after the divorce or separation. In some cases, they request for joint physical custody of the child. Joint physical custody has many legal implications and can be confusing to many. How do responsibilities get shared or divided? What about child support? How to modify joint physical custody arrangements? These are some of the questions that people are often faced with? Given below are five of the top questions regarding joint physical custody that have been answered by Family Lawyers on JustAnswer.

What is Joint Physical Custody?

After a divorce/separation, many parents need to take a call on the custody of the children. Joint physical custody is where both parents have the responsibility of the physical care of the child. It need not always be 50/50, but in most cases, maximum time with both parents is preferred. Most joint physical custody judgments are made keeping the best interest of the child in mind. Both parties should normally be in agreement with the joint physical custody arrangements and any modifications to the arrangements are usually be made only by submitting a petition to the court.

How to Get Joint Physical Custody?

Parents can file a petition for joint physical custody in a family court. In most cases, the court may be in favor of joint physical custody unless the circumstances make it impossible for one parent to share custody. You can ask Family Lawyers on JustAnswer about any specific question on joint physical custody that you need clarity on.

What is the Difference between Custodial and Non-Custodial Parent in Joint Physical Custody?

Joint physical custody has two parties – the custodial and the non-custodial parent. The parent who is with the child and has physical custody for more than 50% of the time is generally referred to as the custodial parent. However, if the time spent with the child by both the parents is more or less equal, then there is not much difference between the custodial and non-custodial parent. In most such situations, both the parents have equal rights and responsibilities in raising the children.

Can the Joint Physical Custody Arrangement be Modified if One of the Parents is Getting Deployed?

In most cases of joint physical custody, one parent is given the primary custody of the child. In a situation when the primary custodian may get deployed for a while, the other parent may petition to the court for temporary custody. The joint physical custody laws may vary from state to state. In some states like Virginia, if both parents agree, they can petition to modify the current order. If either of the parents does not agree, then the other parent may have to seek help from an attorney who specializes in family law to request for primary custody.

Can a Parent Stop Paying Child Support if the Child Starts Living with him/her in a Joint Physical Custody Arrangement?

When parents opt for joint physical custody of their children after legal separation or divorce, one of them usually has to pay child support. Child support can generally not be stopped even if the child, at a later time starts to live with the other parent. It can be considered an offence if the parent does not pay child support and can lead to punishment. The parent can petition to modify child support if he/she wants the court to review and revise the custody and child support ruling.

Raising a child after a divorce or separation can be difficult. There are a lot of details and points to be looked into before the parents can come to a definite decision about the children. If you have any specific questions on joint physical custody, child support or visitation, you can ask a Family Lawyer on JustAnswer and get answers quickly and affordably.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9157
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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6 Family Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent Joint Physical Custody Questions

  • Can I stop step-mom from signing school docs and contacting

    Can I stop step-mom from signing school docs and contacting teachers? Joint legal/joint physical custody. She oversteps her boundaries and is harassing the school, my son, etc. do I have any recourse?
  • My children were placed in third party custody with the

    My children were placed in third party custody with the third party having sole legal custody one year ago. The order says that the parents, I am one, are to share joint physical custody with the third party custodians. The parents pay child support to
    the third party custodians. There is no exit plan in the order for the third party custodians. The third party custodians sent an email three weeks ago or so kicking one kid out, my 14 yr old daughter because she was rude to them. They left her at her father's
    full time (current arrangement says parents get the kids every other weekend, all other times with the third party custodians). A week later they said they were done and could not provide care for our children any longer and left my 16 year old daughter with
    her father as well. Third party custodians left kids with their father because he resides in the school district. I do not. I live in a neighboring school district. I have filed a motion to modify third party custody (Monday of this week as the third party
    custodians have quit, and have stated they will not file any legal documents, leaving this to the parents). In the meantime I think I have as much right and access to the kids now as their father. I am scheduled to get them this weekend and keep them and enroll
    them in school in my district. The current agreement states the children will go to school in their current school district, but it seems that agreement is out the window as the third party custodians have quit and they have deposited the kids with their father.
    What should I be worried about if I enroll them in my district and keep them, while making sure their father receives his parenting time so there is no interference with that so a family access order will not be served on me in the meantime.
  • Wisconsin jurisdiction (laws): Help! I live in MN (marital

    Wisconsin jurisdiction (laws): Help! I live in MN (marital home), my ex lives in Wisconsin (Hudson); however, jurisdiction is in Wisconsin; don't ask, in my favor. My Ex, and our son (half of the time), live with his Mother, we have 50/50 joint legal, joint physical custody. There have been countless number of times that when I pick my son up at my ex's (as he also picks him up from my place; "happy" looking forward to seeing Daddy) and as my son's grandmother lets him out the front door he, my son, runs away and then tells me he does not want to come with me, he wants to stay with grandma. As always after the crabby ride home, (18 miles) he then unfolds and becomes himself, and later we talk and laugh (which is the only way to get my son to spill the beans, confess is to make it seem funny)My son, almost 5, tells me how grandma gives him cool popsicles in exchange for agreeing to run from me and say he does not want to be with me or live with me. One time Gunner pulled off a great act, very crabby (he does not get naps at grandma's), he even went as far as to hit me a couple times. I have several, numerous "voice recording" (legal in Wisconsin; one party consent) of my son (he is smart, I can tell if he is telling the truth or not) telling me and answering questions about how grandma swears and says bad words about me, recordings of my son saying how grandma tells me to run from you. My Ex's mother tells my son not to love me, to tell me he does not want to live with me, to tell me he wants to stay with grandma, and that grandma is his other Mommy, and that I am a mean-ee. What can I legally do to put a stop to this, once and for all, for good! what type of motion will I need to file? We are about to be in the process of having an attorney guardian ad litem, along with the commissioner, decide where our son will go to school, as we cannot agree, and who ever prevails gets sole legal custody...I am a strong contender, 95% likelihood of me being awarded legal custody. My Ex's mother is "obviously" trying to put a stop to this. Again, what can I legally do to put a stop to my Ex mother in laws games of trying to make my son lose his love and affection for me; I confronted her before, but she just denies it, and plays off her daughters like she had no involvement; they too are uneducated idiots. Shirley, Dan's Mother, is a piece of work, had her first child at 15, high school drop-out, white trash moron, manipulator, very childish and immature.
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