When you share legal custody of your child, you and your ex may share decision-making authority on a variety of matters. Sharing these major decisions can be a challenge, especially if you differ in your opinions, and it can be important to carefully consider these major decisions as a part of co-parenting.
What decisions are “major decisions” under Wisconsin law?
Sharing this decision-making authority allows both parents to take an active role in many aspects of their child’s life.
- Non-Emergency health and dental care — While emergency care for a child requires quick decisions, parents will likely need to answer a number of questions regarding their child’s non-emergency care. Which doctor will they see? Which dentist will they visit? Will they get braces? What medications will they take? When will they have appointments, and will both parents be present for these appointments?
- Religious practice — When parents differ in their approach to religion, they may differ in their wishes about their child’s religious upbringing. Discussing those differences may involve considering which religious activities their child attends and whether they will participate in religious milestones unique to a particular religion. religious milestones.
- Schooling —Which school will the child attend? What if their school is closer to one parent’s home than the other? Will they attend a public or private school? Because a child’s education acts as the foundation for their future, parents may have strong opinions about the shape that education takes.
- Consent to obtain a driver’s license — For many young people, getting their license is a major source of freedom during their teenage years. However, if parents share legal custody and disagree about whether their child should be on the road, this teenage milestone may require additional discussion.
While parents may disagree about these major decisions and others, it is possible to discuss their opinions and come to a solution that is in their child’s best interest and supports both their parenting goals.