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Many parents in Omaha may either have what is commonly referred to as a shared custody arrangement or may at least know someone who does. However, dads who are new to the world of figuring out child custody and parenting time may not fully understand exactly what shared custody entails.

Shared custody in of itself is not a legal term but is instead a phrase used to describe one, or both, type of joint custody.

As is the case in most other states, Nebraska recognizes two types of child custody, physical and legal. Physical custody entails raising the child from day-to-day and meeting the child’s ordinary, daily needs.

Legal custody, on the other hand, involves making important life decisions on the child’s behalf, like how and where the child worships or where the child goes to school. Medical decisions also fall in the realm of legal custody.

In a true shared custody situation, both parents would have legal custody, meaning they must come to a consensus about important medical, educational and moral decisions before either parent takes an action.

They would also have shared physical custody, meaning they would each spend a lot of time with the children. While this does not require a perfect 50-50 split, a child who is in a joint physical custody parenting plan would probably say that he lives with both of his parents, albeit in separate households.

On the other hand, when some people refer to shared custody, they may be only referring to joint legal custody, as the children live with either the mom or dad most of the time.

Although some form of shared custody is usually a laudable goal, it is not always feasible, and sometimes may not be what is best. A dad interested in shared custody should speak to his family law attorney.

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