Joint custody is when both parents share custody of their child. Joint custody, at its best, will allow for the most involvement of both in the life of their child. It will require the parents to work together on all significant matters concerning their child until the child becomes an adult. In Massachusetts, joint legal custody, in which the major life decision-making responsibility is shared by both parents, is very common.

Sole custody is where only one parent is responsible for the parties’ child. When a parent is awarded sole physical custody of a child, it means the child resides with and is under the supervision of only one parent.

The non-custodial parent will have reasonable visitation, more commonly called, “parenting time” with the child, unless the court determines that such visitation would not be in the child’s best interests.