THURMAN'S INSIDER'S CUSTODY TIPS:
What is "sole legal custody"?
Orders for "Sole legal custody" are uncommon, and typically only issue together with temporary domestic violence orders following the filing of an ex parte DV Request for Order. These remain in effect until the contested, evidentiary DV hearing occurs, but they can be made more permanent at that time. Never agree or stipulate to sole legal (or physical) custody - and this is one good reason why it might make sense to hire an experienced family law attorney. Otherwise, where a parent appears and participates in any kind of proceedings involving kids and custody, most judges will not grant sole legal. However, understand that if "permanent" (up to five years) domestic violence restraining orders do issue, there is a statutory presumption per FC section 3044 that joint legal and joint physical custody is not in the children's best interests. There is a high degree of variability among bench officers in terms of their attitudes towards enforcing section 3044. It is also seen where one parent makes irresponsible or conflicting decisions about medical treatment or schooling.
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CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE
CUSTODY OF CHILDREN
DEFINITION OF SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY
Family Code Section 3006
"Sole legal custody" means that one parent shall have the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.