571-46.1. Joint custody
(a) Upon the application of either parent, joint custody may be awarded in the discretion of the court. For the purpose of assisting the court in making a determination whether an award of joint custody is appropriate, the court shall, upon the request of either party, direct that an investigation be conducted pursuant to the provisions of section 571-46(a)(4).
(b) For the purposes of this section, “joint custody” means an order awarding legal custody of the minor child or children to both parents and providing that physical custody shall be shared by the parents, pursuant to a parenting plan developed pursuant to section 571-46.5, in such a way as to assure the child or children of frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with both parents; provided, however, that such order may award joint legal custody without awarding joint physical custody.
(c) Any order for joint custody may be modified or terminated upon the petition of one or both parents or on the court’s own motion if it is shown that the best interests of the child require modification or termination of the order.
(d) Any order for the custody of the minor child or children of a marriage entered by a court in this State or any other state may, subject to the jurisdictional requirements set forth in sections 583A-201 to 583A-204, be modified at any time to an order of joint custody in accordance with this section.