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Delaware Joint Custody Agreement: What You Need to Know

If you are a parent residing in Delaware and facing the prospect of divorce, the issue of child custody is likely top of mind. While there are different types of custody arrangements available, joint custody is becoming an increasingly popular option.

A joint custody agreement is where both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. In Delaware, joint custody is the default arrangement unless a court determines that it is not in the best interest of the child. The state encourages parents to work together to come up with a joint custody agreement that meets the needs of their children.

What Goes into a Delaware Joint Custody Agreement?

A Delaware joint custody agreement should be comprehensive and cover essential aspects of the parents` relationship with their child. When drafting a joint custody agreement, the following factors should be considered:

1. Residential Schedule: A residential schedule outlines when the child will be with each parent. Typically, this schedule should include details on holidays, vacations, and other special circumstances.

2. Legal Custody: Legal custody determines which parent makes critical decisions about the child`s education, healthcare, and general welfare.

3. Child Support: Child support covers the financial needs of the child. It is calculated based on the parents` income and the child`s expenses. It is essential to include the amount and schedule of child support payments in a joint custody agreement.

4. Communication: Communication is vital in a joint custody situation. It is essential to establish a communication plan that outlines how the parents will communicate with each other and how they will keep each other informed about the child`s life.

5. Dispute Resolution: Even with the best intentions, disputes can arise, and it is essential to have a process for resolving them. A joint custody agreement should specify how disputes will be resolved, including mediation or arbitration.

Why Choose Joint Custody?

Joint custody has many benefits for children of divorce. It allows both parents to remain active and involved in their child`s life. Children in joint custody arrangements tend to fare better emotionally than those in sole custody arrangements. Joint custody also allows for a more equitable distribution of parenting responsibilities.

In Delaware, joint custody is considered the default arrangement, and many judges believe that joint custody is in the best interest of children.


A Delaware joint custody agreement is a comprehensive document that outlines the relationship between parents and their child after a divorce. It covers essential factors such as legal custody, child support, residential schedules, communication, and dispute resolution. Joint custody has many benefits for children, including emotional stability and a more equitable distribution of parenting responsibilities. If you are considering a joint custody agreement, it is essential to work with a qualified family law attorney to ensure that your agreement meets your needs and the needs of your child.

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