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Joint or sole legal custody: What's the difference?

Divorcing your spouse will alter your life in many ways. The same holds true for your children, as they'll no longer live under the same roof as both parents.

With so many types of child custody arrangements, it's often a challenge to understand what's best for you and your children.

Legal custody is the right for a parent or parents to make decisions about how to raise their children. These decisions are related to details such as:

  • Education
  • Religion
  • Health care
  • Extracurricular activities

Sole legal custody is exactly what it sounds like. This is when one parent has all the power to make decisions regarding the details above, among others.

Conversely, joint legal custody is when both parents share in making important decisions. This can be more challenging after divorce, but it may be in the best interest of your children.

Through divorce mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have the power to work through all details associated with child custody. This includes both physical and legal custody.

However, if your case moves to the courtroom, you lose this power, and the family law judge now has most the control. They'll make a final decision on legal custody based primarily on what's best for your children.

Understanding the differences between joint and sole legal custody will allow you to make more informed decisions as you move through the divorce process.

Also, if you have any reason to believe your custody situation should change, learn more about your legal rights and the steps for requesting a modification from the court.

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Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, P.A.
8211 West Broward Boulevard
Penthouse 4 (PH4)
Plantation, FL 33324

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