The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Joint Custody Laws and Policies in the Fifty States: A Summary Memorandum

Date: 
02/07/2013
Author: 
J. Herbie DiFonzo, Kristin Pezzuti, Nicole Guliano, and Diana Rivkin

From the introduction:

"This Memorandum summarizes the legal principles that guide courts in the determination of joint custody issues throughout the United States.  It was originally prepared for the AFCC Think Tank on Closing the Gap: Research, Practice, Policy and Shared Parenting, held in Chicago, Illinois on Jan. 24-26, 2013.  The Memorandum is intended to provide the statutory and case law context for joint custody determinations as an aid in considering some of the contemporary parenting controversies for divorcing, separated, and never-married parents.  It analyzes principles at play in the United States; the authors will present a similar summary of the joint custody doctrines and practices in selected Anglophone countries at a later time. 

Please note that this Memorandum consists of a general summary of the legal trends in deciding joint legal and physical custody; it is not a comprehensive compilation.  As a work-in-progress, the authors welcome notices of important new statutory and case law developments.  Kindly email these references to Prof. J. Herbie DiFonzo at lawjhd@hofstra.edu.  Please note that this Memorandum is current as of February 7, 2013."

Posted with the permission of J. Herbie DiFonzo.

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