Finding Solutions To Complex Issues

What happens if divorced parents disagree on parenting choices?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Child Custody |

Divorcing or separated parents generally have to split up parental rights and responsibilities. Often, the focus during such scenarios is on parenting time. Also known as physical custody, parenting time gives an adult access to a child as well as responsibility for meeting their needs.

However, legal custody or decision-making authority can be equally important. Parents have a responsibility to make choices in the best interests of their children until they reach adulthood. What happens if parents who share parental responsibilities disagree about what their children actually need?

Custody orders can provide clarity

Many custody orders specifically discuss a division of both parenting time and parental authority. Before parents dig in their heels and begin battling over parenting decisions, they may first need to review their existing custody arrangements.

Shared legal custody is relatively common. However, judges do sometimes indicate that one parent may have the final authority in certain matters. Much of the time, there is an expectation that parents should reach an agreement about crucial decisions regarding their children. If the custody order doesn’t allow for a quick solution, then parents may need to prepare to take their concerns back to family court.

Judges can help resolve the dispute

When parents truly do not agree about what is in the best interests of their children, a judge can help settle their disagreement. A careful review of the circumstances could allow a judge to make the final determination on a pressing parenting issue.

A judge could determine whether certain types of medical care might be in the best interests of a child or whether they may benefit from a parent changing their school enrollment. Other times, judges may order parents to work cooperatively to resolve the issue.

They could even potentially modify the current custody order. By delegating more legal custody to one parent, the judge could help prevent disagreements related to parenting decisions. Those preparing to go back to court may want to gather evidence beforehand so that they can convince a judge that their proposed solution or decision is in the best interests of the child.

Knowing the options available for settling parenting disputes when sharing custody can help those embroiled in what seems like unsolvable disagreements. Learning about ways to settle legal custody disputes can help parents do what is best for their children.