Parents who divorce or split up will often share joint and/or physical custody of their children. This is because it is often in a child’s best interests to have a relationship with both parents. As such, many Michigan parents will have to make child-related decisions cooperatively.

Ideally, parents would agree on all these decisions. Realistically, though, parents often run into situations where they disagree on matters that they both have the right to make decisions on. So, what happens when parents cannot agree?

Decisions to make

Backing up, we should explain that parents generally don’t make every decision together when they share joint legal custody. However, parents with joint legal custody both have the right to make important decisions that affect a child’s well-being.

For instance, parents who both have legal custody generally have the right to make decisions regarding a child’s education, medical care and religion as well as a child’s appearance and extracurricular activities. These can be matters about which parents are quite passionate, so it is not uncommon for them to disagree.

Options for resolving disagreements

There can be a few different approaches to resolving parental disagreements. Parents might agree to mediate conflicts. Or, they might establish in their parenting plan who is the decision-maker for specific areas. For instance, if one parent is a teacher or physician, he or she may be in a position to make specific decisions in those areas.

If parents cannot resolve a disagreement on their own, then the matter will go in front of the courts for resolution.

Seeking help with finding resolutions

Making decisions on child-related matters can be a challenge for any parent; making them with another parent to whom you are no longer married can be an even greater challenge.

Considering the legal issues that can arise under these circumstances, it can be crucial to consult an attorney to better understand the options and possible avenues to pursue a fair resolution.