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Resolving clashes over decisions for your child

Parents with child custody or visitation plans can find themselves navigating some complicated situations that other parents may not struggle with. For instance, parents who share custody can clash over decisions for their children. Figuring out how to resolve these disputes can be a challenge.

Often, the biggest dispute between divorced parents is what’s truly best for the child. Below, we look at some of the conflicts that may arise and how parents can resolve them.

Decisions you will need to make

Sharing custody in our current climate means making several adjustments. School closures, job loss and health concerns affected everybody’s lives. They affected your and your child’s routines. As such, there may be disputes regarding:

    • With whom a child can spend time, besides parents
    • Whether they can return to seeing friends as often as they once did
    • How to keep a child focused while distance learning
    • Limits on screen time
    • Whether a child should go to daycare or not
    • How to exchange custody
    • Whether to pursue COVID-19 or antibody testing for a child
    • Whether to vaccinate a child against COVID-19 in the future

These are all complicated matters for any parent. But parenting separately can increase the complexity of these issues.

Finding a solution when parents disagree

If you and the other parent of your child do not see eye-to-eye on these or similar matters, there are different approaches you can take to find a solution.

First, be sure you understand your rights as a parent. Do you have joint legal custody and the authority to make decisions for your child? Or has one parent been tasked with making specific decisions?

If parents share decision-making rights and are amicable, you can talk through the issue together and try to find a compromise. If you find yourselves at an impasse, consider consulting a mediator to help you reach a decision.

If you are not amicable or if there is no way you can see eye-to-eye on an issue, you may need a judge to decide for you. Under these circumstances, legal guidance and support can be vital.