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By: Sampair Group

Options for Sole Legal Decision Making: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

Child Custody Law

Going through the legal system while dealing with a split-family household can be difficult. One partner may want their child to have certain accommodations while another partner may disagree. Taking care of these important and personal decisions, particularly with regard to healthcare and education, can be difficult when you feel without help, but what happens if you have sole legal decision-making ability?

To better understand sole legal decision-making, we must understand what that phrase means within the context of the law.

Common Questions Regarding Sole Legal Decision-Making

Individuals who have received sole legal decision-making responsibilities regarding their child will wonder what they actually have the ability to do.

Some partners wonder if they can:

  • override holiday co-parenting schedules
  • select who can claim the child on their taxes
  • change the other partner’s parenting time

Can parents with legal decision-making actually do these things? That comes down to a matter of perspective. What is legal decision-making?

What IS Legal Decision-Making

There is a difference between making decisions as a parent and making a decision backed by the law as the parent of your child. Legal decision-making allows you to make decisions with regard to your child’s healthcare, education, personal care, and religious decisions. Specifically, you will have the power to approve medical procedures, apply to enroll in school, and decide whether your child is raised with a certain religious upbringing.

Legal decision-making has limits, even if they aren’t properly understood by the vast majority of parents.

What Legal Decision-Making Is NOT

Legal decision-making does not extend to any rights of ownership over the other parent regarding their time with or without the child. Legal decision-making does not grant authority to one parent to determine or otherwise schedule the parenting time of the other partner, this is something that is taken care of by the court.

When an agreement is not put in place by the parents, issues that would fall under child support or parenting time are to be determined by the legal system. Tax exemptions as well as out-of-state travel planning will also require a ruling from the court.

Be careful throwing your weight around as the legal decision-making authority. Abuse or misuse of this authority can lead to a possible modification to your agreement in the future.

Find Help From The Sampair Group

If you don’t know how to pursue legal decision-making or are otherwise uncomfortable with your present agreement, The Sampair Group can help. With locations nestled throughout The Valley, The Sampair Group brings professional expertise at unbeatable prices to the comfort of your legal case.

Learn more about your legal rights by scheduling a consultation at your earliest convenience.