What Is the Difference Between Joint Custody and Joint Shared Parenting?
Parents of minor children have numerous options when it comes to creating a child custody and visitation framework. However, finding the right solution can be stressful and confusing. Terms describing different types of arrangements can sound similar. For example, “joint custody” and “joint shared parenting” are not synonymous. Understanding the distinction between these terms and the other available custody options will help you decide what type of arrangement you should seek.
To find the best solution for your situation and needs, you wish to discuss the following custody and parenting options with a qualified New York family lawyer:
- Joint legal custody — Even if a child lives for most of the year in one parent’s home, joint legal custody is usually granted. This means that both parents are entitled to have influence over important matters related to their son or daughter’s upbringing. In a joint legal custody arrangement, decisions about a child’s education, medical care, religious training and other concerns are made with input from each parent. There can be situations when sole legal custody is granted to one party because the other has behaved in a way that indicates they are not capable of making responsible choices regarding their child.
- Sole physical custody — When a child spends most of the time in one parent’s home, the other parent pays child support even if they earn less than the parent with custody. New York’s formula sets the child support rate based upon the percentage of total income that each parent earns. For example, if the combined total annual parental income is $100,000 and the noncustodial parent earns $40,000, that parent would be responsible for making payments equaling about 40 percent of the total child support.
- Joint shared parenting — In joint shared parenting, the child spends roughly an equal amount of time in each home. As neither party has sole physical custody, the parent who earns more income must make child support payments to the other. This is true even for a parent whose income is higher by one dollar, unless both parents reach agreement on an alternate plan that is approved by the court. Establishing a joint shared parenting plan is not a way to avoid one’s child support responsibility, since the income shares model is still used.
Custody and visitation terms should be tailored to your children so that they have the best chance to thrive following your divorce. The Long Island divorce and family law office of Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. will take the time to help you consider different custody options and work diligently to establish a supportive environment for your son or daughter. Please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.