When you’re looking for a custody attorney in Bakersfield, and you’re facing a divorce with a child or several children, figuring out what joint custody means for you should be one of your main concerns.

Joint custody is one of the most popular options in California, and there are two different types: joint legal and shared physical custody. Here are the basics of both, but to get a better idea of which will work best for your family, consult a custody attorney Bakersfield as soon as you can.

Joint Legal Custody

Essentially, this is where a child officially lives with one parent. They go to school in one district, they live in one town, and they grow up in one household. However, both parents have the right to make decisions on how the child is being raised. So, if for some reason you leave your ex-spouse out of an important decision – like moving to another state – you can be found in contempt of the court, even if you are the parent with physical custody. This custody choice might be a good choice for you if you feel that you and your spouse may be able to co-parent effectively from different households.

Shared Physical Custody

Unlike in a joint legal custody, this is where the child gets to move around a lot. The child officially has two homes, and their time is split between both homes. Sometimes this is simply a weekend/week arrangement, and sometimes it’s a summer/school year arrangement, and sometimes the child is “shared” equally among parents. In addition to having to get along with your ex for this particular arrangement, you must work out a sound parenting plan so that the court will allow you to proceed. Courts have dissolved shared parenting plans when there is hostility between parents, even when these plans have been created with the oversight of a custody attorney in Bakersfield.

To better suit your family and your child’s needs, it’s important that you consult a custody attorney in Bakersfield before you make any brash decisions. Sometimes shared custody is the way, and sometimes it isn’t. But you’ll only really know that if you talk to an educated, understanding lawyer about your divorce.