The everyday job of providing for a child is something that most Florida parents embrace. Having a child is a great responsibility, but it is also an opportunity to share joy and love with someone special. When divorce disrupts the important balance that mothers and fathers share with their kids, child custody negotiations can be of significant importance to their end-of-marriage plans.

While many parents focus on where their kids will live and when they will have visitation time with them, there is another aspect of child custody that is important for parents to remember: legal custody. A parent who has legal custody of their child may stay involved in the decision-making processes of raising the youth. If a parent lacks legal custody, they may not be able to stop a decision concerning the child that they believe is detrimental to the child’s well-being.

For example, a parent with legal custody but not physical custody may still have a voice in where their child is educated. If the custodial parent wants the child to go to public schools but the noncustodial, legal custody-holding parent wants the child to go to private schools, then that parent’s opinions may be heard and considered as the matter is resolved. Parents who retain joint legal custody can ensure that they play a part in making decisions pertaining to religion, schooling, and medical care.

It is important that parents have face-to-face time with their kids, but in the wake of a divorce it is also important that they stay involved in how their children are raised. Legal custody allows parents to be part of the conversation when important choices about their kids are made.