Looking after the children - Joint custody

If as parents you are able to communicate on a civilised, if not amicable, basis about your children, and you both agree to continue sharing the parenting of your children then the option you are likely to choose is joint custody.

Joint custody gives both parents the right to take part in the major decisions in a child's life.

These are-generally speaking- deciding on the child's education, religious upbringing and medical care. For example, do you wish your son or daughter to be educated in the state or the private sector? Joint custody gives both parents the right to discuss this issue and to take a joint decision.

With regard to religious education, again, joint custody gives each parent the right to have a say in the matter. Clearly, if the parents cannot agree on a religion for the child, then the matter must ultimately be dealt with by the court whether or not there is an order for joint or sole custody. The major issue concerning medical care is generally based on consent to medical treatment.

Fortunately, a large number of parents accept the fact that although they are unable to live together as husband and wife, this does not mean that they cannot continue to be parents to their children.

Many couples are able to organise and share this on a civilised basis, which is obviously the most desirable option for parents and children. An order for joint custody is a tremendous help for the children particularly, because it shows them that although their parents have decided to separate and perhaps to divorce, the disagreements are between the parents in their roles as husband and wife rather than as father and mother.

The children often feel more stable with a joint custody order because it helps them to realise that their parents are still equally interested in their welfare and upbringing.

KIRSTY APP on divorce - Next:

Looking after the children - Sole custody

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