Joint Custody

finley7It is not uncommon for one parent to have primary physical custody (the residential parent), at least during the school week.  The other parent (non-residential parent) will have overnight visits according to a parenting plan that you and your spouse negotiate or that is awarded through a custody trial.  Although physical custody can be shared, in most typical joint custody situations the non-residential parent will have what’s called “joint legal custody”, which means that the non-residential parent still has a say-so in important educational, medical, religious decisions affecting the child such as the necessity of elective medical care of a major nature or the religious and educational upbringing of the child.  It also means that the non-residential parent is entitled to be informed of all parent/teacher conferences and all other activities (including sports) and/or school programs in which the child and parents are invited to attend, and has equal access to receive copies of the child’s report cards, medical records and current photographs.  It also means that the residential parent would need permission of the non-residential parent or Court to change schools or relocate the child.  However, decisions which affect the day-to-day care are typically made by the residential parent.  

The foregoing is general information only and does not constitute legal advice regarding your specific legal matter nor does it create an attorney-client relationship regarding your matter.