What Should I Ask for in a Joint Custody Agreement

When going through a divorce or separation, one of the most significant concerns for parents is the custody of their children. Joint custody is a common arrangement that allows both parents to share the responsibilities of raising their children. However, before agreeing to a joint custody arrangement, it`s essential to understand what to ask for in a joint custody agreement.

1. Living Arrangements

One of the most important elements of a joint custody agreement is determining where the children will live. It`s essential to determine the living arrangements and how much time each parent will spend with the children. You should also consider the distance between the two parents` homes and ensure that the children`s living arrangements are convenient and appropriate.

2. Parenting Time and Schedules

A joint custody agreement should also include a parenting time schedule, outlining the specific days and times each parent will have custody of the children. This schedule should be detailed, including when and where the children will be picked up and dropped off. Moreover, it should also consider holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.

3. Legal Custody

In addition to physical custody, legal custody is another aspect of joint custody agreements. Legal custody refers to the authority to make significant decisions regarding the children`s upbringing; this includes schooling, medical care, and religious practices. You should consider and discuss with your former partner the specific decisions you`d like to make regarding the children`s upbringing and who will have the final say.

4. Communication

Effective and open communication between both parents is crucial when children are involved. Joint custody agreements should include provisions detailing how you and your former partner will communicate regarding the children`s welfare, including the mode of communication, frequency, and times.

5. Dispute Resolution

Even with the best of intentions, some disputes may arise while co-parenting. To ensure a smooth transition and resolve conflicts efficiently, it`s essential to include a dispute resolution clause in the joint custody agreement. This clause should outline what steps will be taken to resolve issues that may arise.


A joint custody agreement is essential for outlining the specific terms and conditions for raising children between two parents. Before agreeing to the terms of a joint custody arrangement, it`s essential to consider what you want, discuss these issues with your former partner, and seek the advice of professionals, including lawyers and mediators. With the right agreement in place, you and your former partner can provide a positive and healthy environment for your children, ensuring that their best interests are always a top priority.

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