Legal Professionals of Hirsch & Ehlenberger

What happens when co-parents disagree about matters concerning their child?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Child Custody

Sharing custody with a former romantic partner can be quite a challenge. Even those who understand that cooperation is necessary for the protection of their children may have a hard time regularly interacting with a former romantic partner who is now their co-parent.

Parents can typically minimize interactions with one another during regular custody exchanges. They can even have someone else handle the process when children are young. Once children are older, they can enter and exit vehicles without parental assistance, effectively eliminating the need for the parents to directly interact with one another.

Parents in Virginia often share legal custody in addition to sharing physical custody. That means they may have to talk about any major decisions related to their children. What happens when co-parents cannot agree on the medical care a child needs, the school they should attend or other key concerns?

The family may need to go back to court

Shared legal custody where both parents typically need to agree on major decisions is a common outcome of custody negotiations or litigation in Virginia. It is customary for the parents to need to cooperate with one another to agree on what would be best for their children.

Sometimes, differing values may lead to parents having disputes about parenting matters that they cannot resolve amicably with one another. In such scenarios, it may be necessary to return to family court. One parent could seek to modify the current custody arrangements so that they have final decision-making authority or control over a specific type of decision for their children. Other times, they could ask a judge to rule on a specific issue.

Disputes about legal custody can lead to delays in medical care or educational setbacks for children, making it very important for adults to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Those who focus on what is best for the children when presenting their side of the situation in court may make a more compelling case than those who focus on their own wishes or legal rights.

Those who must go to family court to resolve legal custody disputes need to prepare their case carefully to convince the courts that certain decisions are in the best interests of their children. Taking action in a timely manner can prevent such disputes from impacting a child’s health or interrupting their education.


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