Sole v. Joint Custody

The term sole custody describes a situation where one parent has the right to make all major decisions for their minor child. Such major decisions include education, religious training, health and living arrangements. Most child care experts and judges agree that sole custody is not ideal, and that children benefit from having both parents involved in raising them.

Joint custody refers to a situation whereby both parents make the major decisions for their minor child together. In the separation agreement or in a divorce proceeding, parents can establish joint custody arrangements to suit the parties involved. However, if there is conflict between parents and they find it difficult to put their disagreements with one another aside when discussing their children, joint custody is difficult to put into practice.

The important point is that "custody" is about making decisions, not about the amount of time children spend living with either parent.