Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Parental Decision-Making After Divorce

 Posted on April 05, 2024 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerMaking important decisions about your child’s upbringing is an important part of child custody in Michigan. While parents going through divorce are often focused on parenting time, it is also important to address which parent will have the right to make certain decisions about how the child should be raised and cared for. In most cases, parents who share parenting time will have joint legal custody as well, meaning that they are both responsible for parental decision-making. It is common for parents who get divorced to have disagreements about what their children should or should not be allowed to do, how they should be educated, and whether they should participate in religious life. Parents must address how these decisions will be made after their divorce is finalized. A Novi, MI divorce attorney can help you and your spouse plan for cooperative parental decision-making going forward.

When Can One Parent Have Sole Legal Custody? 

It is rather rare for one parent to have exclusive decision-making rights. This arrangement is only considered when it is in the child’s best interest, such as when one parent has a history of making decisions that have harmed the child.

Strategies for Cooperative Parental Decision-Making After Divorce 

Parents who are creating their own plans for co-parenting can use many different strategies to plan for decision-making in the future. Your options for structuring decision-making rights include:

  • Work issue by issue - One option is to work through a list of parental decisions that will need to be made and allocate each decision to one or both parents. For example, one of you may be tasked with deciding which school the child should attend, while the other gets to decide which place of worship the child should attend. You may also decide that both of you should share the ability to make certain choices, such as consenting to medical care for your child. 
  • Plan for cooperation - If you plan to share decision-making responsibility, it is best to discuss how you will work together to make these decisions when you have disagreements. For example, if one of you wants your child to participate in cheerleading while the other feels that the sport is too dangerous, how would you resolve the disagreement? You can consider options like using a mediator or family counselor to help you work through decisions. 
  • Agree in advance - Another option is to resolve the issues you expect to disagree on while you are going through divorce mediation. You can ask the mediator to help you reach agreements about decisions you know will need to be made in the foreseeable future. 

Contact an Oakland County, MI Child Custody Attorney

Elkouri Heath, PLC will work with you and your children’s other parent to establish the best possible plan for making important parental decisions. Our committed Novi, MI child custody lawyers have been serving parents in Michigan for over two decades. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation.

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