Cleveland Family Law Attorneys
A father and mother arguing while their daughter, who is in the middle, covers her ears

What If My Spouse and I Disagree on a Legal Custody Issue?

When Disagreements Arise

When parents agree to or are awarded Shared Parenting after their divorce is finalized, they must work together to jointly make decisions related to the health, education, and wellbeing of their child. Unfortunately, disagreements over important decisions can happen from time to time. Often, when neither party is willing to negotiate their position, joint decision-making can stall to the detriment of the child.

Read on to learn more about legal custody disagreements and how to handle them.

Example Issues That May Cause Disagreements

Medical and educational decisions are often at the root of many disagreements for legal custodians. For example, one parent may wish for the child to receive a certain vaccination, while the other parent is against getting such treatment, or one parent may wish to take their child out of public school and place them in private school, while the other wishes for the child to remain where they are.

At the heart of these issues may be a genuine desire to do what is in the best interest of the child; both parents just do not see eye to eye on how to move forward.

First Thing’s First: Review Your Plan

Anytime you are unsure as to how to proceed, due to a disagreement or otherwise, a good place to start is by reviewing your Shared Parenting Plan. Generally, the Plan itself will provide language guiding the parties on how to proceed in the event of a disagreement.

How Disagreements Are Handled

If your Shared Parenting Plan is silent as to how to handle the dispute, the first step to resolving a disagreement is through communication. Each parent should listen to the other’s views on the issue, and if possible, parents should always attempt to settle an issue on their own through agreement.

If parties agree to communicate but have trouble navigating these conversations on their own, they may consider other options, such as mediation. Mediation is a method by which the parties, on their own or with counsel, seek the intervention of a neutral third party to assist in the resolution of a dispute.

If parents are unable to come to an agreement on how to handle the issue, there are other options available, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • One parent can petition the court for a modification of the child custody order and can request sole decision-making authority for the child. Should this route be chosen, that parent should be prepared to argue for why such a change would meet the child’s best interests.
  • One parent can petition the court for a modification of the child custody order to include additional language to assist the parents in navigating decision-making issues.
  • The court can hear arguments from each parent on their point of view and make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child.

Work With Your Child Custody Attorney

When disagreements over important decisions arise, it’s imperative to speak with an attorney who understands Ohio’s child custody laws and can help you defend your position and rights as a parent. At Laubacher & Co., we know how important it is to exercise your parental rights, and we are committed to doing everything possible to find that favorable outcome, meet your needs, and serve your child’s best interests.

Learn more about child custody issues in Ohio or schedule your consultation by calling us at (440) 336-8687 or by visiting our website.