Regarding child custody, what is the difference between joint legal custody and joint physical custody?

By Alison C. Leslie, Esq.
December 22, 2014
NJ FAQ/Child Custody

People going through divorce often say that they want joint custody of their child without understanding the difference between joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Joint legal custody is the right to make decisions with regards to the care of your child, such as educational, medical, and religious decisions in your child’s life. In New Jersey, most parents share the decision-making process.

Physical custody determines where your child is primarily going to live. In New Jersey, we have the parent of primary residence and the parent of alternate residence. When you’re discussing parenting time, your goal is the best parenting schedule for your child. That’s a decision you and your spouse should both have input on and should discuss as part of the divorcing process.


Alison C. Leslie, Esq. practices family law exclusively in her Morristown, NJ offices, where she offers her clients the individualized attention of a solo practitioner with the experience of a larger firm. She can be reached at (973) 631-8002. View her website and Divorce Magazine profile.

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By Alison C. Leslie, Esq.| December 22, 2014
Categories:  FAQs

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