What Decisions Should Co-Parents Make Together When They Share Child Custody?
When people have a child together their relationship will never truly end, even if they get a divorce. Even when a marriage ends, the law still expects the two parties to co-parent in a healthy and effective way. Legal custody refers to the ability of one or both parents to make important decisions for the child. In most situations, the courts will award joint legal custody to both parents. Essentially, each parent has an equal say when important decisions must be made. Below, our Santa Clara County child custody lawyer outlines which decisions parents should make together post-divorce.
The Child’s Education
The education the child receives is sometimes a source of conflict for divorced parents. One parent may wish to homeschool the child, while the other may believe the socialization a school provides is just as important as the academic element. One parent may want their child to attend a private school, while the other may wish to avoid this added cost. Regardless of the situation, both parents must agree to the education the child receives in shared legal custody arrangements.
The Child’s Religion
Parents sometimes have very different religious views, and this can lead to a great deal of conflict when determining how the child should be raised. For example, both parents may have been practicing Christians during the marriage. Post-divorce, one parent may convert to Judaism for a new partner. Or, a child may wish to join a religious group and one parent may encourage it while the other tries to prevent it. As long as the child is still a minor, parents must agree to the religion the child will be raised in.
The Child’s Healthcare
The healthcare a child receives has always been a potential source of conflict for parents, but this is especially true today. Parents may not agree on social distancing measures, vaccinations, mask use, and boosters. A child may also wish to have certain procedures, such as a gender reassignment surgery, and the parents may also disagree about this. Still, parents must reach an agreement about the child’s healthcare.
What if Parents Cannot Reach an Agreement?
Ideally, parents would always be able to agree on the major decisions that must be made for a child. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. When parents cannot agree, they will need to take the issue to court and allow a judge to decide. Family law judges will review a situation on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, they may grant sole legal custody to one parent temporarily, allowing them to make the decision on their own. It is rare for any parent to be awarded permanent sole legal custody.
Our Child Custody Lawyer in Santa Clara County Can Provide Sound Representation
If you have a dispute with your former spouse, or you need help negotiating an agreement that is in the child’s best interests, our Santa Clara County child custody lawyer can help. At Hepner & Pagan, LLP, our seasoned attorney can help you reach an agreement or represent you during a court hearing so you have the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us now at 408-429-8336 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.