There are two types of Legal Custody in Ca Family Law: Joint & Sole Legal Custody. Joint Legal Custody means that both parents shall share the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child. (Family Code §3003). For example, if one parent wants the child to go to a particular school, they must discuss and obtain the other parties’ consent prior to enrolling the child into that school. If the parties are unable to agree, the party wanting the change must petition the court to enroll the child into the school and allow the other parent to file a written objection as to why they do not agree with the school. The court then ultimately makes the decision as to where the child should go to school.
Sole Legal Custody on the other hand means that only one parent makes the decisions about the health, education and welfare of the child. In this situation, if one parent wants to enroll the child in a particular school, they may do so without the knowledge or consent of the other parent. The other parent may still petition the court if they oppose the change, but the court will likely side with the parent who has Sole Legal Custody absent a showing of detriment to the child if they did attend the school. It is important to understand your rights as a parent and be guided by a competent attorney to ensure that you do not make a decision that you do not understand the legal effects of. Please contact Paul A. Eads, Covina Family Law attorney today for further examples or if you have any further questions regarding Legal Custody.