Legally if a parent gives sole decision making to the other parent, in this case that would be the legal custody, then that parent no longer has the ability to make parenting time decisions for the child. Most parents are not willing to forfeit their ability to make parenting decisions for their child. Again decision making is legal custody.
Custody is broken down into those two categories of legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make decisions about the child’s care, education, health and religion, while physical custody is the time that child physically spend with either parent.
The very personal decision of whether to have sole or joint custody is one that each parent must make for themselves. I counsel clients to act in the child’s best interest when making these decisions. Generally parties try to keep consistency for their children. For example they keep their kids in the same school or activities, they keep them in the same house and then they split parenting time between the parents.
In making these decisions parents should decide how much time they can actually spend with the child. They should really look at how the plan can maintain a quality relationship with the children. Quality time is much more important than having more time. For example it is not in the child’s best interest for a parent to fight for a majority of time if he or she cannot actually spend that time with the children. And the other parent should be able to spend that time with the children before a nanny or babysitter is hired.
Kate Miller is a Denver, Colorado attorney focused exclusively on the practices of divorce and family law. She has lived many of the issues regarding divorce and child custody, and is passionate about helping people through this process. To learn more about Kate and her firm visit www.MillerFamilyLawLLC.com.