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- Main article: Child custody
Joint custody is a court order whereby custody of a child is awarded to both parties. Many states recognize two forms of joint custody: joint physical custody, and joint legal custody. In joint physical custody, which is also known as joint physical care, actual lodging and care of the child is shared according to a court-ordered custody schedule. In many cases, the term 'visitation' is no longer used in these circumstances. In joint legal custody, both parents share the ability to have access to educational, health, and other records, and have equal decision-making status where the welfare of the child is concerned. It is important to note that joint physical custody and joint legal custody are different aspects of custody, and determination is often made separately in many states' divorce courts. E.g., it is possible to have joint legal custody, but for one parent to have primary physical custody.
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