What happens when co-parents can’t agree?

There are certainly many situations in which co-parents do not agree on how to raise their children. Some of the time, this doesn’t matter, and parents are allowed to use different strategies. For example, although it can be helpful for parents to use the same type of discipline because it gives the children consistency and stability, they are not necessarily required to do so. If you believe your ex is using a set of rules that are too strict for you, you’re not obligated to use the same rules when the children are in your custody.

But there are other situations where a decision must be made. For example, maybe your child needs critical medical care. Which doctor should they see? Which hospital should they go to? What type of care do you approve of? Are there any types of care that you do not want your child to get? If you and your spouse disagree on one of these points, what happens next?

The focus of legal custody

In a situation like this, one thing that is important to remember is that child custody can be divided on both a legal and a physical basis. Even when two people have physical custody, this does not necessarily mean they both have legal custody. So the first step is to review the custody order and determine who gets to make this choice.

If legal custody is shared, then you and your spouse do have to agree on the next steps to take. You cannot do this on your own, and neither can your ex, because that would be a violation of your rights. If you can’t agree or find a compromise, the only solution may be to ask the court. They can determine what would be in the best child’s best interests and make a ruling, even if you or your ex do not necessarily agree with that ruling. It still creates a binding court order that must be followed.

Child custody does not always go as smoothly as you would like, but there are solutions. Take the time to look into all of your legal options.