This depends. North Carolina recognizes two types of custody – physical custody and legal custody. Often, parents assume that joint custody means they will share the child equally and this is not necessarily true. Legal custody refers to which parent will make the major decisions that affect the child such as medical, educational, religious and other important decisions. In most cases, the parents can still communicate well enough and are equally concerned about their children that the court will order the parents to share this decision-making responsibility and order joint legal custody. For physical custody, the schedule will be determined after considering a number of factors and the court is not required to follow a predetermined schedule. If the physical placement schedule is equal and the parents share the decision-making responsibility, then this is truly joint legal and joint physical custody.
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