Please help me understand


#1

My ex and I (via a very accelerated settlement conference) agreed on a consent order (which has been signed by a judge) that designates “joint legal custody” with me having “primary legal” and my ex having “secondary legal” . Same for physical custody. I have final say in all major decisions. The children live with me. My ex has regular visit time. There is no child support. So, it’s not sole custody, but it’s not really joint custody - but my ex feels we have “shared” custody (both legally and physically). I am really not sure what I have here and my attorney has not been able to explain to me in a way I can understand. My fear is that this agreement actually says two different things and is not enforcable - especially because my ex and I disagree on what we’ve agreed to… I’m hoping you can explain what I’ve signed.


#2

It sounds like you have joint legal custody with primary physical custody. The person having primary physical has the child the majority of the time, and is responsible for making day-to-day decisions regarding the child. The joint legal custody comes into play mostly as far as major decisions are concerned, such as those affecting education and health care. Such decisions need to be made jointly, and no parent can make such a decision without consulting the other. Also, both parents have access to records pertaining to the child with joint legal custody.


#3

Except the order specifically says joint legal custody and joint physical custody with XX having primary custody and YY having secondary custody. In addition, it states that if the parties can’t agree, XX will make the final decision…which is all fine and good except YY is insisting we have co- or shared custody. So do we have shared custody?


#4

My last post is a general overview of the difference between physical and legal custody, and what those arrangements mean for joint legal custody in NC. For me to tell you exactly what your order says would require me to review the order. Specific document review is beyond the scope of this forum. If you need help understanding what your order says, then you should consult with an attorney.