Whenever people think of child custody, they often associate it with the child’s physical presence. However, there is more to it than having the child with you. Parental responsibility, often referred to as legal custody in some quarters, is an often overlooked aspect of most custody cases, yet it is equally important.
As a parent, there are some decisions surrounding your child’s life that you should be involved in making. Things to do with their education, religious beliefs, and even medical procedures need your consent.
Do you have shared parental responsibility?
Florida family law favors both parents’ involvement in the child’s life, and most couples share parental responsibilities for the children. It means that even if your co-parent physically lives with the child and you only visit, they still need to seek your consent before taking actions that will significantly affect the child.
Is your co-parent doing everything their way?
Parenting with your ex is never easy, and sometimes, shared parental responsibility can become a source of conflict for co-parents who cannot seem to agree on anything. If your co-parent is not consulting you on some decisions yet you share such responsibilities, you can seek reprieve from the court.
In some cases, such as emergencies, their actions may be justified. But in instances where they are acting out of spite, the court may step in to enforce or modify the current custodial arrangement.
Importantly, you may need to show how their actions are negatively affecting the children’s well-being for the court to take action.
Safeguarding your parental rights
As a parent, being there for your child takes more than seeing them over the weekend or the holidays. You need to be involved in making the decisions that will shape their growth and development.
Your co-parent should not take that right from you despite any differences, but it is up to you to ensure that.