Joint Legal custody in Michigan: By: Daniel Findling
Physical custody and joint legal custody in Michigan explained.
Unlike physical custody, sometimes called the custodial parent which defines where a child lives on a day to day basis, legal custody defines the right to make legal decisions for the child regarding education, health care, religion, and his or her general welfare.
(For more information on physical custody we have you covered. Visit this link for detailed information on kids custody and child support in Michigan – click here.)
The majority of Michigan divorce and custody cases award both parties “Joint legal custody”. In simple terms, just because a child may not reside with a parent, does not mean that the parent should be marginalized. With joint legal custody in Michigan, each parent is entitled to equal access to the educational, medical, religious and other pertinent records of the child. In addition, with joint legal custody in Michigan, each parent has an equal say.
With Joint legal custody in Michigan the parties shall jointly determine the necessity of elective medical care of a major nature and shall make joint decisions on the religious and educational upbringing of the children.
The parties shall each be entitled to be informed of all parent/teacher conferences and any and all other activities (including sports) and/or school programs in which the children and parents are invited to attend. The parties shall each be entitled to receive copies of the children’s report cards, medical records and current photographs. Decisions which affect the day-to-day care of the minor children shall be made by the physical custodian
What to do if you cannot agree on joint legal custody (a major decision)?
If the parents cannot agree on a major decision regarding a child, the court can intervene and conduct a hearing to decide the issue. The hearing is called a Lombardo hearing, named after another case. A Judge will hear arguments from both parents and make the final decision.
Joint legal custody has no impact on child support and only involves major decisions. Routine decisions are the responsibility of the parent exercising parenting time on a specific date.
Joint legal custody in Michigan is an important consideration in every Michigan divorce and custody case.
Change is rarely easy, sometimes complicated and often emotional. Our Michigan divorce attorneys are experienced in family law. We utilize a team approach to focus on solutions by applying Michigan law properly. We specialize in helping you focus on your goals, protect your property interests, manage your custody and support interest, and keep you happy in life’s most difficult circumstances.
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