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What is Joint Legal Custody?

There are two sides to the custody coin in California: "Joint legal custody" and "joint physical custody". As a practical matter, the wheel of custody hits the road in terms of physical and not legal custody. Joint physical custody has serious ramifications that joint legal custody lacks in terms of where children live (i.e., move-away applications) and who gets to control their day-to-day activities. Joint legal custody usually is more philosophical in its effects and some argue that this label is a bone thrown to out-of-custody parents, in order to encourage and make them feel more engaged in the lives of their children. However, joint legal custody becomes more powerful when parents have radically different views about participating in religious and other activities. Legal custody is almost always granted to parents who are present in their kid's lives.

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Family Code Section 3003

"Joint legal custody" means that both parents shall share the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.


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Address: 225 South Civic Drive Suite 1-3 Palm Springs, CA 92262 Phone: (760) 320-7915