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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Hello, State: CA Custody Arrangement: Mother - 80%,

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State: CA

Custody Arrangement: Mother - 80%, Father -20 % (every other weekend, holidays), joint legal custody.

My husband and his ex-wife currently share joint legal custody of their 7-year-old son. He has requested four times now, verbally and in writing, if he can have his son's primary care physician, neurologist, and daycare provider's information (such as name, address, phone number). His ex-wife has refused to tell him who his son's doctor is, who is watching his son while she goes out of town (she recently quit working, but prior to that she wouldn't tell him who the daycare provider was for their son's after-school care), or who the neurologist is that is treating his son (he supposedly suffers from seizures, though we have never seen any evidence of these seizures while he is staying with us). His son recently informed us he had to go to the hospital in an ambulance, but she never notified my husband of this either. It is my understanding that when two parents share joint legal custody, they are both supposed to have equal access to this information and should be notified and involved with such issues as medical care, schooling, and daycare provision. If this is the case, what legal recourse does my husband have to possibly compel this information from his ex-wife?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Than you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

Does the mother have primary legal custody or is legal custody split 50/50 between the parents? I ask because it will factor into my answer and also into whether or not your understanding is correct or not based on the facts. Please advise!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Mother has primary physical custody. There was no split listed in the court order regarding the legal custody, only that they were both to have joint legal custody of their son.

Thank you for your follow-up, Rachel.

If no split was listed then both are considered to be 50/50 legal custodial parents. That is a bit of a difficulty since in a 50/50 situation neither party's right is greater than the other. It essentially means that while either party can make legal decisions on behalf of the child, the other party can legally overrule or overturn that decision AND it also means that the person does not have to comply with the requests of the initial parents.

There is a way to get it resolved. You can either have your spouse file a motion for clarification, essentially seeking clarifying language from the judge that would define the duties and requirements of joint disclosure by the parents, or your spouse can attempt to skip that step and file a 'motion to compel', which is a separate motion that is one step under a contempt of court petition. Under a 'motion to compel' your spouse can state that since parties are equally responsible, it is in the child's best interest that both parties split and share information, and that he is seeking that the judge compel the other person to do so. Likely the first option is more likely to work but will take longer than the second option that I suggested.

Hope that helps!

Dimitry K., Esq. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much, this helps immensely!


I am truly glad to hear that. I wish you well, good luck to you!