Our children are one of the great joys in our lives. They are also one of our greatest sources of stress and anxiety. We feel the tremendous sense of responsibility to raise them well and to pass along our values and wisdom to them.
Parents don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to these values. They may come from different religious backgrounds, different cultures, or from wildly different upbringings. It may be a salient source of contention in the family. So when parents separate, these differences can become far worse. For the sake of your children, it is necessary to take an informed and thoughtful approach to address these issues.
Legal versus Physical Custody
Child custody is broken into two general forms, “legal custody” and “physical custody”. Physical custody is generally at the forefront of parents’ minds—encompassing the right to have physical care or visitation with the child. In contrast, legal custody cannot be overlooked, as it involves critical rights of making decisions about your child, directing their religious and moral upbringing, and receiving information about your child.
Legal custody can come in two forms: sole legal custody and joint legal custody. Sole legal custody places the majority of this decision-making authority in the hands of one parent, while joint legal custody means that the rights are shared or split between the parents. However, a Court may award joint legal custody, but grant one parent more authority to make certain decisions. Courts have wide discretion to award legal custody based on the child’s best interest.
Courts want normalcy and stability for children. For example, if there is an incredible tension where the court does not believe that the parents can reasonably share this decision-making authority without constant conflict, it can name one parent the sole legal custodian.
Negotiating an Agreement
A legal agreement is the most effective way to address differences in parents’ beliefs about their children’s religious and moral upbringing. Of course, both parents have to enter the process with an understanding that they will not get everything they want and that they will have to abide by the agreement. An agreed parenting plan with specific and clear terms regarding these issues and how to resolve conflicts can go a long way toward maintaining a peaceful childhood while respecting each parent’s values.
Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Will Fight for You
At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P., our attorneys have a full appreciation of what your children mean to you. Our attorneys have a track record of success and are committed to fighting for your rights as a parent. Let us stand by you. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule an appointment or contact our office through our website.