Divorcing Kentucky parents have numerous decisions to make as they move through the divorce process. One major issue is how they will work out custody of their children. While it would be easy to simply say they will enter into a joint custody agreement, they need to remember that there are two types of custody — legal and physical. Even if the decision to share physical custody is an easy one, joint legal custody could require more thought.
As a reminder, legal custody has to do with the right to make major decisions for the children that will affect their futures. It does not include daily decisions such as bedtime. Instead, it includes decisions involving the children’s education, religion and medical care, among other significant choices. It may seem like sharing these decisions equally would be the best course of action, but it may not be in every circumstance.
Sharing legal custody requires the parents to have a post-divorce relationship in which they get along and can effectively communicate. Otherwise, having to make the above types of choices together could result in unnecessary disagreements and delays. Of course, even cooperative co-parents will not always agree, but the difference is they may be better equipped to resolve their differences amicably and within a reasonable amount of time.
Even if one parent makes the final decision, the other could provide input. The other parent does not necessarily have to be removed from the decision process. It simply depends on what will work best for the whole family, particularly the children. The bottom line is that parents need to make decisions that will serve the best interests of their children. Kentucky parents who are unsure whether joint legal custody would be the best course action would most likely benefit from gaining a complete understanding of what they will face and what types of decisions they may need to make.