With a shared custody agreement, each parent has about equal custody of the child. With shared custody, both parents have legal and physical custody of the child as a single unit, where they collaborate on the child's upbringing effort instead of having responsibilities divided by the court. With shared custody, both parents have equal say when it comes to the child's health care, education, religious upbringing, and both parents are equally responsible for taking physical care of the child.
During this time, courts usually require a couple to go through mediation, which gives parents the opportunity to sit with a mediator to work out the details of their parenting plan and schedule; where the child spends summers, holidays, and weekends are typically topics of discussion. The goal of shared custody is for a more equal distribution of time between the child and the parents and is an ideal solution when parents are actually able to cooperate and agree on basic decisions without hostile confrontations.
The Courts Role
Courts will look at a variety of different factors. For example, in Michigan, courts consider the love and affection existing between the parents and the child, the willingness and ability to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. Also, the stability of the custodial environment and the mental and physical health of the parents are taken into consideration.
In some cases, partners/spouses won't agree on the change, and one partner or spouse must file a motion with the court asking for a "modification" of the spousal/partner support amount. However, it is not possible to do modifications for the past child support. If that's what you're trying to do, then you should meet with an experienced family law attorney regarding the current custody situation and strategy going forward regarding custody.
For professional legal representation, contact the experts at Bailey Smith Bailey today!