Joint Legal Custody refers to decision making by parents for their minor children as it relates to schools, medical and religious decisions.

So, what is the problem? Most inexperienced lawyers have in an order or agreement “joint legal custody” with no further details.

This is very problematic in the future should issues arise. Specifically, the enforceability of the term comes into question if it lacks further details.

Below are some useful examples of additional recommended details to include – so there is not additional issues down the road:

1. If either Mother or Father intend to travel outside of the state with Child for an overnight visit, he or she will provide a general itinerary of said travel arrangements.

2. As joint legal custodians neither party is to enroll or dis-enroll the Children in any school, nor are they to arrange for or discontinue educational services, medical services, counseling services, or extracurricular activities, lasting more than one week, without the express permission of the other party. If the extracurricular activities only occur weekly on one of the parent’s regular days, and do not entail obligations on the other parent’s days, then neither parent needs permission to enroll the child in said activity. Religious activities or the like shall not be encouraged or communicated with the child without the express permission of the other party.

3. The parties shall communicate directly with each other concerning the child, free of any third party interference.

4. Mother and Father shall keep each other informed of their current address and phone numbers and notify the other within 24 hours making any changes thereto. Once said change has been made, they will notify each other within 24 hours of said change. Neither party, grandparent or babysitter shall block or otherwise impede the ability of either party to send or receive telephone calls, text messages or email messages to or from the other party.

5. Each party and related grandparents of the child must give immediate notice of all emergency medical treatment, including any treatment plan, test or prescriptions that will be administered by any medical, psychological, dental or therapeutic service to Children. Each party shall be allowed to visit any child during any medical confinement.

6. All are to have reasonable phone, e-mail and Skyping contact with Child, if available, while Child is exercising parenting time with one of the other parties.

7. No parent should make any disparaging remarks about the other parent in the presence of the child.

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