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Decisions you may not anticipate when developing a parenting plan

When most people think about child custody issues, they envision their ideal physical custody schedule. However, legal custody is also vital to consider.

Most parents share legal custody of their children, though they might not recognize what this means until a child gets older or unless certain issues arise. In this post, we will look at some of the questions you may need to resolve in the future, as well as what you can do now to minimize conflict surrounding legal custody decisions.

Legal custody gives parents the authority to make health, educational and religious decisions for their children. This means that parents who have legal custody may have to address the following issues.

  1. What sports will your kids play? Can they play football, or is that too dangerous?
  2. What if your child wants to stop (or start) going to church? Do parents agree on religious teachings? Will you leave such decisions up to your child at a certain age?
  3. What if your child is diagnosed with a medical condition? Will you comply with doctor recommendations or are there specific drugs or treatments you don't want your child to receive?
  4. Can your child go to summer camp? What if it's expensive or takes a significant amount of parenting time away from one parent?
  5. Where will your child attend school? Public or private?

These are just some of the questions that arise during the life of a parenting plan. As such, it can be helpful to discuss these and similar issues with the other parent as you craft your agreement. 

While it is impossible to anticipate every parenting challenge, especially when you share custody, your parenting plan can set forth a solid framework that allows you to resolve challenges as peacefully as possible. You should consult with a Pennsylvania family law attorney to ensure you consider your options thoughtfully.

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