As a Kentucky parent who has decided to end his or her marriage, you understand that you and your ex must resolve numerous issues that are relevant to your children’s well-being. As the back-to-school season begins, it is imperative to make sure that your child custody agreement is solid and that you receive a divorce settlement that reflects your children’s best interests. This may include sole legal custody.
Most people understand what is meant by physical child custody in a divorce. It basically refers to where your children will live after you finalize your divorce. Some parents share physical custody. In other cases, one parent acts as primary custodian while the other has visitation privileges. Similarly, you can share or request sole legal custody of your children.
Legal child custody pertains to decision-making authority in a divorce
As opposed to physical custody, or where your children live, legal custody refers to an adult’s decision-making authority for issues that affect children’s lives. For example, this might include decisions about faith, health care, education or other issues. If you and your ex share legal custody of your kids, you must consult each other and achieve an agreement before implementing decisions about such matters.
If, on the other hand, you obtain sole legal custody of your kids, you do not have to consult with your ex before making decisions. Having sole legal custody means that any decisions for the coming school year, such as which school your kids will attend, whether to request an IEP (individualized education program) or other issues, you can make independently and without your ex’s approval.
What happens if your ex challenges your legal custody?
If you make a decision in the best interests of your kids, such as switching schools or moving to a new town, and your ex does not agree to it, he or she might challenge your legal custody in court. To gain the court’s favor, he or she must prove that the actions you’re about to take (such as relocating) would not serve your children’s best interests or, worse, might put them at risk.
Such issues are complex, and you could become entangled in a serious legal battle if your ex files a lawsuit regarding your sole legal custody over your children after a divorce. The good news is that you don’t have to fight such battles on your own. You can arm yourself with legal support before heading to court, especially if you are unsure what approach to take to resolve a specific issue.