Legal custody means the right to make major decisions about your child’s welfare. This includes decisions about medical care, phycological care, educational, and religion. If you are awarded sole legal custody, you will make these decisions without the need to consult with the other parent. If you and the other parent are awarded (or agree to share) joint legal custody, you will make these decisions together. If you and the other parent are unable to agree on a decision, then you would need to file a motion and have the court decide the issue.
As joint legal custodians, each parent will have equal decision-making authority with respect to matters concerning the child’s health care, religious training, and education. Both parents must be fully informed with respect to the child’s progress in school and will be entitled to participate in all school conferences, programs, and other activities in which parents are customarily involved. Specifically, the term “joint legal custody” means:
a. Each party will foster, encourage and support the relationship between the minor child and the other parent;
b. Each parent will be entitled to have complete access to the minor child’s medical, psychological, school, religious and other pertinent records of the child;
c. Each parent will advise the other promptly of any illness, emergency, or other significant events concerning the minor child (including school or health problems, if any) of which the parent becomes aware;
d. The parties will consult together concerning major decisions involving health, education, religion and welfare of the minor child;
e. The parties will use their best effort to work together to ensure consistency in agreement of matter affecting the upbringing of the minor child and to work together to promote the best interests of the minor child;
f. Each party shall have full rights to receive and authorize the release of information regarding the minor child from the child’s school, mental or physical health care provider or any other source;
g. The parties shall each be entitled to be informed of all parent/teacher conferences and all other activities (including sports) and/or school programs in which the child and parents are invited to attend;
h. The parties shall each be entitled to receive copies of the minor child’s report cards, medical records and current photographs;
i. Each party shall have the right to make routine and emergency decisions regarding the minor child when the child is with him or her;
j. That each party shall keep the other party informed of their present address, telephone number and any other emergency numbers.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC we understand that the interests of your children always come first. Whatever your situation, Schmitt Law, PLLC is experienced, sympathetic and willing to help you achieve the best outcome for your entire family. Contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation. Our office is located at 401 Hall Street SW, Suite 112D, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.