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Posted over 1 year ago.

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the input. I think the word "Sole" custody or "Visitation Rights" should be vacated as they do not reflect the real meaning (A father is not "Vising"- he is a parent at all times) - I think some states changes it to "Parenting Plan" instead.

I was wondering what joint legal means as it is the case with my wife and I. One of the things I am pushing for is taking/driving my son to school when he comes for a sleep over on every other weekend and my wife is torpedoing this effort for no good reason. Does joint legal give me the right to demand this?

Thanks in advance.

Steven Edward Zlochiver
Steven Edward Zlochiver, Child Custody Lawyer - Newton, MA
Posted over 1 year ago.

You will find many Agreements these days in Massachusetts using the term "parenting time" (or "Parenting Plan") along with "primary residence" (instead of "sole physical custody"). The judges seem to approve of this. "Joint Legal" really only relates to the decision-making of the parents concerning education, medical and religious upbringing matters. You could stretch it to apply to other important decisions. But deciding who takes the child to school should be set out in an agreement or judgment. In your proposed judgment you should set this out. In negotiating you should come up with a rationale for taking your son to school - that is, explain why it is in his best interests. And in your judgment (or Rationale if the judge asked for one) you can try to show why it is in his best interests. If the schedule allows for him to sleep over until Monday morning then it makes sense (and I think the Court would normally agree) that is is more efficient (less time consuming and less tiring) for him to go directly to school rather than to have to endure two trips - to her house and then to school. Hope this helps