In making a parenting plan, consider two things: how will the authority to make parenting decisions be shared and how will the children spend time with each parent? Sole custody is rare and refers to one parent having sole authority to make major decisions. Joint custody, the more common scenario, means both parents share that responsibility, no matter how time is spent with each parent. What people sometimes call sole custody is actually a type of joint custody, where both parents share major decision-making responsibility but the children spend most of their time in one parent’s home and that parent, called the primary residential parent, makes the day-to-day parenting decisions. Shared parenting, on the other hand, refers to a parenting plan where parents have joint custody and the children spend similar time in both parents’ homes. No matter the scenario, the top consideration is what arrangement will best serve the children’s needs at that point in time.