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How does joint legal custody work?

One of the greatest blessings that a Florida resident can experience in life is becoming a parent. Bringing a new life into the world and adopting children are transformative experiences.

However, when the relationship between the parents end, there can be many questions that arise regarding the care and support oftheir children. While most readers of this family law blog may be familiar with the concept of physical custody, not all readers may know what it means to have legal custody of a child. Put simply, legal custody of a child gives a parent the right to be involved in decision-making about how a child is raised.

In many custody cases, parents are granted joint legal custody of their children. If, though, a parent is unfit to hold this responsibility then they may not be given this ongoing power. When parents share legal custody they must work together to determine what experiences will best help their children become well-adjusted and capable individuals.

For example, one important aspect of legal custody that parents may consider is how to have a child educated. If one parent wants the child to attend a private school and the other wishes for the child to attend a public school, the parents will have to work together to find a resolution to their dispute. Other topics that can become significant under legal custody considerations may include but are not limited to religion, medical care and involvement in extracurricular activities.

If a parent makes a unilateral decision about their child's welfare without discussing the matter with the child's other parent, the decision-making parent could be held in contempt of court if the other parent shared legal custody with them. Legal custody rights are important and parents and their family law advocates should fight for their continued rights to be involved in the decision-making processes for their kids.

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