Caring for a child after a divorce can be complicated, particularly if the child’s parents do not get along. However, in Arizona and jurisdictions throughout the country, parents do not drop their responsibilities to their children just because their personal relationships end. In fact, during a divorce or after the end of a nonmarital relationship, parents will have to decide how and by whom childcare duties will be performed.
One category of parental duties that must be performed after a divorce is legal decision-making. There are different ways that legal decision-making can be shared, and this post will explore them generally. Case-specific guidance should be sought from one’s own family law attorney.
Legal decision-making rights
When a parent has legal decision-making rights, they can be involved in the processes of deciding important matters for their child. Those matters can include but are not limited to:
- Where they go to school
- If they are exposed to a religious or faith system
- What types of medical care they receive
Though a parent can have legal decision-making rights and parenting time with their child, it is their decision-making powers that allow them to have a say in the big issues concerning the life of their child.
Types of legal decision-making
A parent can have the exclusive right to legal decision-making if a court decides that is in the best interests of their child. However, it is more common for parents to share legal decision-making and to work together to establish outcomes for their children’s lives. This is part of the ongoing relationship that co-parents must maintain as their relationship ends. When issues arise concerning the care of children, parents can seek help from their trusted legal counselors.