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Parental responsibility: Pluses and pitfalls of joint custody

There are good aspects and less than stellar aspects when separating parents have legal joint custody of their children. When it comes to parental responsibility in Florida, parents who have joint legal custody both have a say legally in making decisions for their children. Some of those decisions can include health care, religious affiliations and education. Legal and physical custody are two different entities, however, in that physical custody means the children live primarily with one parent, while the other has visitation with them even though they may both have joint legal custody.

A joint custody situation forces parents to talk about what continues to be important in their relationship -- their children. Having both parents involved in their lives in this fashion can be beneficial for children as they feel the positives of their parents collaboratively co-parenting. Seeing their parents agree on what's best for them can be very rewarding for children.

On the less than perfect side, it's not always an easy thing to do when two people aren't in the same place. Joint legal custody takes some planning and what works for one parent may not be ideal for the other. Forcing a collaborative process may not be conducive to coming up with a positive parenting plan. Parents have to be on the same page more often than not when it comes to making joint custody work.

Joint custody works best when both parents think about their parental responsibility and think about their children first by putting their own agendas on the back burner. It also helps for parents to know they dynamics of different custody situations and this is one area in which a Florida attorney may be able to help. A lawyer can provide insight into the law as it pertains to child custody issues.

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