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After divorce, who makes decisions for your child?

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2023 | Child Custody |

When you and your spouse were married, both of you would talk together to make decisions for your child. These decisions could revolve around issues like where your child is going to go to school, what type of medical treatment they’re going to get, what religion they’re going to be brought up in and much more.

But after a divorce, things can become a bit more complicated. You and your ex may not see eye to eye on things like medical care or schooling options. Who gets to make these crucial decisions now that you are sharing custody and parenting time?

Decision-making power

The answer lies in who has the decision-making power, often referred to as legal custody. This is different than physical custody and parenting time, which refer to the child’s living situation. Legal custody determines who has the ability to act on the child’s behalf.

For instance, perhaps you and your ex share parenting time, with the child living with you during the week and with your ex on the weekends. But only you have legal custody, meaning that you have the sole decision-making power.

Where things get tricky is when this legal custody has been divided between you and your ex. It is common for the court to say that both parents have decision-making power and that they still have to continue to work together to put their child’s best interests first.

In a situation like this, you and your ex may have a difference of opinion and not be able to find a compromise. That is when the court may become involved, and you need to know what legal steps to take.