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What decisions do parents with legal custody usually make?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Child Custody |

When parents share legal custody, or the right to make important decisions for their child, it is crucial to set how each parent will participate in various aspects of their child’s life. Having only one way to resolve all issues involving a child’s upbringing will likely not work since each aspect requires an approach tailored to address them.

The first step in this process is to identify what kind of decisions parents have to make.

Five common parental decisions affecting the child’s life

Common aspects of a child’s life requiring parents to decide include the following:

  • Healthcare: Parents should address how they will make medical decisions, including the child’s routine check-ups, vaccinations and emergency care.
  • Schooling: This includes choosing the child’s school and the impact of the child’s educational needs on custody and parenting time arrangements.
  • Extracurricular activities: Parents can also decide on their child’s involvement in sports, arts and other activities. This includes coordinating attendance and support for these events.
  • Religious upbringing: If parents have different religious beliefs, they have to decide for their child’s religious education and practices to avoid confusion.
  • Rights of extended family: Parents should consider the involvement of grandparents and other relatives in the child’s life when making custody and visitation decisions.

In more unique cases, parents can discuss how they will decide in case of parental relocation, custody modifications and other strategies for resolving disagreements.

Prioritizing the child’s best interests

Whenever parents decide about any aspect of their child’s life, they should always consider how their decision can affect their child’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being. This includes considering not just the immediate impact but also the long-term effects on the child’s development and happiness.

Achieving this goal is possible when parents work together amicably to solve custody and parenting issues. In case establishing child custody and parenting time agreements become too complex and overwhelming, the assistance of a competent family law attorney can be of benefit.