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What is legal custody? Learn to make it work for you

In your divorce, you'll find yourself faced with questions and concerns regarding both physical and legal custody.

Legal custody provides a parent (or parents) with the power to make important decisions regarding their children, including but not limited to:

  • Medical care
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities

There are two types of legal custody:

  • Sole legal custody: With this, one parent has the ability to make all decisions for their children. Furthermore, they don't have to consult with the other parent when doing so.
  • Joint legal custody: This is the most common form of legal custody. Both parents have equal say when making important decisions.

If you have sole legal custody of your children, you'll find it easier to make decisions, as you don't have to consider the feelings or input of your ex-spouse.

Conversely, if you have joint legal custody, you'll have to work closely with your ex. This can be a challenge at first, especially if you disagree about everything, but as time goes on it's your hope that you settle into a routine that works for the both of you.

With joint legal custody, the most important thing to remember is that your children come first. Don't make decisions out of spite against your ex, as doing so could put your children in a worse position.

As you prepare for the divorce process, learn as much as you can about legal and physical custody. The knowledge you collect will help you make informed decisions, while also taking steps to protect your legal rights. There's nothing more important than your children, so don't sell yourself short in this area.


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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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