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Los Gatos legal child custody attorneyWhen making decisions about your post-divorce parenting plan, it is important to understand the difference between joint legal custody and sole legal custody of your children.   

Joint Legal Custody

Having joint legal custody, which is the most common choice in California divorces, means that both parents have the right and responsibility to make decisions about the children. It does not mean the parents have to be in 100% agreement about every decision, but they do have to be willing to discuss these issues calmly and compromise based on the best interests of the children. 

When joint legal custody is ordered, the court documents should specify the situations when the consent of both parents is required and the consequences if one party does not obtain the other’s consent. Such orders should also specify that both parents should have full access to all school and medical records, and that parents must keep each other informed about the children’s location and care decisions.

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Los Gatos child custody attorneyIn a divorce involving children, one of the most important decisions you will make is, “Who has legal custody of the children?”

The Difference Between Legal Custody and Physical Custody 

Legal custody and physical custody are two separate issues. Physical custody refers to where the children will live. Legal custody describes who has the right to make major decisions about the lifestyle and care of minor children. This article will focus strictly on the definition of legal custody. 

Legal Custody in California

Under California law, the person(s) with legal custody has the right and responsibility to make critical decisions for the minor children, including: 

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California family lawyerIf you have children and are newly divorced, in the process of divorce, or seriously contemplating divorce, the issue of child custody is surely on your mind. You may be anxiously anticipating a contentious court battle, for example. The truth is, however, is that the kind of hostile courtroom scenarios depicted in television and film are not representative of the vast majority of dispute resolution.

Divorce is common and in many cases mutual and free from larger-than-life rancor and, when children are involved, with ex-spouses working together to share custody. Such sharing, in legal terms, is known as “joint custody.” An experienced Sunnyvale family law attorney can help determine whether joint custody is best for you and your children.

Joint Custody Is Conditional on Certain Minimum Criteria

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California child custody attorney, California mediation lawyerDuring a divorce, many topics are necessary to consider. None of them are insignificant as each detail assisted in building a life together. However, one of the larger situations that require careful consideration is the child custody and visitation arrangements. The decisions made affect not only the adults in the situation but also the children and will continue to influence everyone involved for the years to come. The best solution is chosen during divorce mediation, or a judge can lay out a plan of action through divorce litigation.

Understanding Custody

There is more to determining custody than just with whom the child will live. Two forms of care need establishing, both physical and legal custody. Each of these types of care has various options within them. Understanding the options makes the decision-making process easier, so let us explain.

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