For most Massachusetts residents, the divorce process is not easy to get through — particularly if children are involved. Trying to figure out the ideal arrangements for children can be hard on parents. The vast majority of parents just want to achieve child custody terms that they believe will do the least amount of damage.

This is where joint custody enters the picture. Sole custody used to be the norm. Mom would get custody, and Dad would maybe see the kids a few times a month. There has been a shift in child custody wants, though. More parents want shared custody, and studies show that this type of arrangement is best for children — except in cases where domestic violence, addiction and other serious issues are a problem.

There are two types of joint custody offered to Massachusetts parents: legal and physical. Legal custody has to do with decision making. If joint legal custody is ultimately awarded, both parents will get to have a say in a child’s upbringing and other important life decisions. If joint physical custody is awarded, children will get to live with both parents — how that works out will be different for each family.

Joint child custody can be a good thing for Massachusetts families affected by divorce. It does take a lot of effort and communication to make it work, but it can help children keep their connection with both parents. Those who wish to pursue joint custody can turn to legal counsel for help in achieving it as part of their divorce agreement, or after the fact by pursuing a custody modification.

Source: verywellfamily.com, “How to Win Joint Legal or Physical Custody“, Debrina Washington, Accessed on May 17, 2018