Duff & Kronfeld, P.C.
Contact Us
View Our Practice Areas

What Is Required by Joint Legal Custody?

What Is Required By Joint Legal Custody?

By: David L. Duff, Esquire

"Physical custody" of a child means, very simply: Where does the child live? "Legal custody" means: Which parent has decision-making authority for the child? Clearly, there are a multitude of day-to-day decisions affecting a child's life that are made, as a matter of course, by the parent having physical custody. Such decisions may run the gauntlet from "When is bedtime?" "Can homework wait until after dinner?" to "Who are acceptable playmates?" Quite often, however, decisions that hold more significance to your child's life will arise. These are the decisions that fall under the ambit of "legal custody".

The concept of joint legal custody is to require that both parents be included in making those significant decisions that will affect their child. Examples of such significant decisions would include, but certainly are not limited to, the following:

•· Registration for sporting activities, or other extra-curricular activities;

•· Being evaluated by a mental-health therapist;

•· Attending a particular summer camp;

•· Issues involving the child's education or health;

•· Issues involving the child's religious exposure and participation.

"Joint legal custody" requires that, before one parent can unilaterally make such significant decisions for a child, the other parent must be consulted and allowed to have input on the issue. The goal, of course, is for both parents to arrive at a unified decision and course of action. Sometimes it works - often it does not.

The success of "joint legal custody" depends upon both parents being able to maturely discuss a particular issue; to have some measure of respect for each other's position; and, to be willing to compromise for the best interest of their child. The cooperation of both parents is absolutely required; and, unfortunately, this is often not the case, which is why so many custody disputes end up in court.

If you have questions concerning this concept of "joint legal custody", call an attorney at The Duff Law Firm, (703) 591-7475, for a complimentary consultation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today For Knowledgeable And Client-Centered Assistance

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Duff & Kronfeld, P.C.
11320 Random Hills Road, Suite 630
Fair Oaks Commerce Center
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-591-7475
Fax: 703-273-4537
Fairfax Law Office Map