Joint Custody

Child custody rights in the UK follow three legal systems, that of England, Scotland, and North Ireland, with these regions differing when it comes to laws regarding  custody.

It’s important to note that while mothers’ and fathers rights are recognized by the government, but the courts base their decision on what they deem to be the best solution for the child.

Joint custody is one such arrangement that is decided by the courts in the best interests of the child.

What is Joint Custody?

As the name suggests, joint custody (also known as shared parenting) is a kind of custody arrangement wherein both parents have more or less equal opportunities in raising their child.


Child custody rights show that there are two kinds of joint custody.

Joint legal custody is an arrangement wherein both parents have the right to participate in making decisions regarding the welfare and upbringing of their child.

Because this form of joint custody does not affect the living arrangements of the child, it is possible for the son or daughter to live with only one parent, although visitation rights are usually allowed by the courts.

Joint physical custody, on the other hand, stipulates that the child will live with both parents according to child custodyrights.

This arrangement usually means that the child will live with the parents following an alternating schedule.

More often than not, joint physical custody is already coupled with joint legal custody.

However, the percent of time spent by the child with the parents may depend on the courts decision, and the common arrangements are usually a 30/70 or a 50/50 time share between parents.

The Benefits of Shared Custody

father with young son at the park

There are several benefits that both the parents and the child can enjoy in joint custody, the biggest one being stability.

Studies have shown that in cases where parents have already separated or divorced, joint custody is the best arrangement for the children because they not only get to spend much-needed time with both parents, they also are at less risk of feeling abandoned or rejected by either their mother or father.

They don’t have to choose which parent to go to, because they get to have equal opportunity to spend time with both their parents, and the mother and the father can in turn provide for the needs of their kids, which may not be possible if only one parent was given custody.

Parents, in turn, will also have more time to spend with their kids, instead of just being deprived of their presence because of the restrictions in visitation rights.

Furthermore, they get to be more involved in the lives of their children, as they also have huge roles to play when it comes to making decisions about the welfare of their kids.

Joint custody is granted only if the parents agree upon this arrangement and the courts have ruled for this.

Because this sort of arrangement demands a large amount of time and commitment from both parents, joint or shared custody is both part of child custody rights as well as the responsibilities of the mother and father.