Joint custody

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Joint custody is a court order whereby custody of a child is awarded to both parties.[1][2] In joint custody both parents are custodial parents and neither parent is a non-custodial parent, or, in other words, the child has two custodial parents.[2] Joint custody has two main forms:

History of joint custody[edit]

In England, prior to the nineteenth century, common law considered children to be the property of their father.[3][4] However, the economic and social changes that occurred during the nineteenth century lead to a shift in ideas about the dynamics of the family.[3] Industrialization separated the home and the workplace, keeping fathers away from their children in order to earn wages and provide for their family.[3] Conversely, mothers were expected to stay in the home and care for the household and the children.[3] Important social changes such as women's suffrage and child development theories allowed for ideas surrounding the importance of maternal care.[3]

United States[edit]

In the United States, many states recognize two forms of joint custody, which include joint physical custody and joint legal custody.[2] In joint physical custody, the actual lodging and care of the child is shared according to a court-ordered custody schedule.[5][6] In joint legal custody, both parents share the ability to have access to their children's records, such as educational records, health records, and other records.[7]


  1. ^ Arizona State Legislature (2011). "25-402". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Georgia State Legislature (2011). "Georgia Code Section 19-9-6". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Jay Folberg (23 August 1991). Joint Custody and Shared Parenting. Guilford Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-89862-481-6. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Margorie Louise Engel; Diana Delhi Gould (1 January 1992). Divorce Decisions Workbook: A Planning and Action Guide to the Practical Side of Divorce. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-0-07-019571-4. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Oregon State Legislature (1997). "ORS 107.102 Parenting plan". Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Kaplan PMBR (7 July 2009). Kaplan PMBR FINALS: Family Law: Core Concepts and Key Questions. Kaplan Publishing. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1-60714-098-6. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Robert E. Emery (1999). Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment. SAGE. pp. 79–124. ISBN 978-0-7619-0252-2. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 

See also[edit]