Brad Micklin, a family lawyer in Nutley, answers:
Yes, there is a difference between joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
Legal custody refers to which parent will be responsible for making important decisions relating to the children. These include decisions relating to education, religion, medical treatments, residency, and similar issues. Parents who share joint legal custody must consult and confer with each other on major decisions such as these. A parent who has sole legal custody need not consult and confer with the other parent, but may still need to notify the other parent regarding decisions that are made.
Physical custody refers to the child’s residency and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. In situations where parents share joint physical custody, there is often a designation of parent of primary residence and parent of alternate residence. However, where parents share a true 50/50 parenting time schedule, there may be no such designation.
Brad Micklin is a family lawyer in Nutley, NJ.