What is the Difference between Sole versus Joint Legal Decision-Making? How does it Differ from “Legal Custody”

In Arizona, what was once commonly known as “Legal Custody” is now referred to as “Legal Decision-Making.” Sole legal decision-making gives one parent the right and responsibility to make all major, non-emergency legal decisions including education, health care, religious training and personal care decisions. Technically, the parent is not required to discuss or consult with the other parent. However, even if a parent has sole legal decision-making, it is always best to discuss and obtain the input of the other parent if possible. Joint legal decision-making means both parents share decision making and neither parent’s rights nor responsibilities are superior. In some cases, although the parties may have Joint legal decision-making, the Court order may grant one party final control over specific issues in the event of a disagreement.