Divorce can be a stressful period in anyone’s life, but that goes double if children are involved. Even though your marriage has ended, you still want to be involved in the life of the child, or children, you have been raising thus far. You want to be a part of their lives as they grow, learn, and change into people with whom you can share conversations. You want to be there from the first time they ride a bike to the first time they go to prom. All of that starts by staying in their lives.
What Is Joint Custody?
Joint custody can be split into two categories: physical and legal. Physical custody means your children will be spending equal amounts of time living with both parents. Legal custody means major, life-altering decisions about the children, such as medical decisions or changing schools, must be agreed upon by both parents, regardless of where your children live. It is possible to have both physical and legal joint custody of children, though joint legal custody is more common.
What ultimately determines joint custody is the judge’s determination of what is in your children’s best interests. The judge will decide based on where the children will live, how they will live, and whether or not the children will receive the emotional and financial support necessary to thrive.
If your spouse intends to try and get sole custody of your children, the best way you can fight for joint custody is to prove that your presence will contribute to the overall health and happiness of your children. You can do this by collecting evidence that shows:
- You have a stable job
- You live in a child-friendly area
- You spend quality time with your children
Even something as simple as behaving appropriately in court can help your case. A judge will understand your desire to stay in your children’s lives, so he or she will be looking for evidence that you are, and will continue to be, a positive influence.
Courts dislike separating parents and children. If you’re concerned about your ability to win joint custody, contact one of our Louisville child custody attorneys at (502) 812-1889 or fill out our online form to set up a consultation.