Parents who don’t live together have joint custody (also called shared custody) when they share the decision-making responsibilities for, and/or physical control and custody of, their children. Joint custody can exist if the parents are divorced, separated, or no longer cohabiting, or even if they never lived together. Joint custody may be:
- Joint legal custody
- Joint physical custody (where the children spend a significant portion of time with each parent), or
- Joint legal and physical custody.
It is common for couples who share physical custody to also share legal custody, but not necessarily the other way around.