If you have children from a previous relationship, a North Carolina judge may decide that you are entitled to shared or joint custody rights. While shared and joint custody arrangements have many similarities, there is also a key difference between the two plans.
How joint and shared custody models differ
The most significant difference between joint and shared custody plans is who gets to make decisions on behalf of the child. If you and your child others parent have joint custody of a son or daughter, each of you will be able to have input into the child’s life. However, if custody is merely shared, you may not necessarily get to decide where your child goes to school or what religions he or she is exposed to.
Neither arrangement is inherently superior
Generally speaking, the type of custody plan that you and your former partner choose will depend on which one best suits your child’s needs. Typically, parents who live and work in close proximity to each other and their children may benefit more from having joint custody of their kids. If you are struggling financially or are chronically ill, shared custody may be what is best for yourself and for your child. Regardless of how you choose to share custody of your children, the goal is to make sure that they feel loved and supported by both parents.
If you have questions or concerns about a child custody plan, an attorney may be able to address them. An attorney may also provide more insight into the best interest of the child standard and how it may influence a child custody order. If you are denied custody of your child, there is a good chance that you will be granted visitation rights.