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What does joint legal custody mean in California?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Child Custody

If you are going through a divorce, you know how stressful the whole situation can be. There are many things that need to be worked out in the divorce proceedings, including asset division and, if you have children, child custody. In California law, child custody is divided between physical custody and legal custody. In most cases, parents will share some sort of joint physical custody, meaning that the child will spend time with each of the parents. Typically, parents also share some form of joint legal custody. In this post, we will explore this concept.

Health, education and welfare

In California, joint legal custody generally means that both parents share the right and responsibility to make decisions for their children. These decisions are around their health, education and welfare.

In general, the parent who has the physical care of the child can make “routine” decisions such as what to have for dinner, when to go to bed, how to deal with minor illnesses, etc. Legal custody generally refers to more important decisions. Both parents should have access to their child’s medical and education records. Parents need to keep each other advised on their child’s doctor visits, conditions treated, and follow-up appointments made. Parents should also keep each other advised on their child’s school, athletic and social events.

Of course, not everything always goes as planned. If you are in need of assistance for your child custody case, you may want to speak with an attorney who specializes in family law. An attorney has the experience necessary to advise you on your options for child custody. In addition, if the other parent is not cooperating in the custody arrangements, an attorney can help with legal options you may have, always keeping in mind the best interests of the child.