Legal Custody and Decision-Making
Massachusetts recognizes two types of custody: legal and physical custody. Legal custody gives you the right to make decisions about your child’s education, religious upbringing, non-routine medical treatment, and other important matters. If you share legal custody with the other parent, you may be making some joint decisions about these issues. For some, this can be a challenge. These are really important issues, and you both have your child’s best interests in mind. Seeing eye-to-eye doesn’t need to be hard, but it will take some cooperation and communication.
Making Decisions Together
If you and your spouse don’t completely agree on all the important decisions you will need to make for your child, you may need to do some negotiating. Consider divorce mediation if there are issues you need to agree on for the benefit of your child. Legal custody will give you the right to make decisions about where your child goes to school, what religions you will introduce your child to, when and if your child can get a piercing or tattoo, military enlistment, and non-routine medical care, to name a few. Disagreeing over these issues down the road when they become a problem can result in a hastily made decision that is not in the best interests of your child. Working together now to come to an agreement over these issues will pay off in your future. In mediation, you and your spouse can do just that: work together to negotiate agreements to stave off future problems. Mediation can also give you the chance to explore creative options for sharing custody. Chances are, there are other issues you may not necessarily agree on, and mediation is a great opportunity to get all those issues on the table and work through them one by one.
Speak with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have questions about sharing legal custody. Legal custody gives you the right to shape your child’s future by making vital decisions regarding his or her life and upbringing. A mediator can help you and your spouse negotiate an agreement on how to share custody. The mediator will help you work through conflict if it does arise and give you the information you need to structure a parenting plan that protects your child’s health and well-being now and in the future.
If you have questions about legal custody, contact Mediation Advantage Services for experienced family law help. Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse negotiate a custody agreement that is in your child’s best interests. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at 508-795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.