Most Probate Judges award parents shared legal custody of their un-emancipated children. Legal custody is the decision making power with respect to medical, educational and religious decisions. The one exception to this standard would be when there is a restraining order in place that prohibits effective communication between the parents.
However, the tide seems to be changing and the Courts are looking at the parent’s relationship as to whether they are able to share legal custody.
The MA Appeals Court recently overturned a Probate and Family Court Judge’s decision awarding shared legal custody to both parents. The Appeals Court ruled that the evidence presented at trial showed that the parents had a contentious relationship and would not be able to co-parent successfully. Therefore, the Appeals Court remanded the case back to the Probate Court to award sole legal custody to the mother. The father would have access to school and medical records but mother would have the final say.
This is simply one more reason why it’s so important to put differences aside when it comes to raising your children with your ex. Because if you can’t, you may lose the ability to have a say in major decisions in their life!