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Will he be able to get braces for our son without my permission?

June 30, 2018

The answer to whether a parent can get braces for their child without getting the permission of the other parent depends on who has legal child custody. Child custody is separated into two types: physical child custody and legal child custody.
For instance, physical child custody determines where the child resides. Shared, or joint custody, occurs when a child resides with both parents. The amount of time is typically determined by a parenting schedule. If one parent has primary child custody, then the other parent may have visitation rights. Visitation rights allow the non-custodial parent to have supervised or unsupervised visits with their child for a specific amount of time. However, they do not reside with the non-custodial parent.

Legal Child Custody is the Right for a Parent to Make Decisions about their Child

The second type of child custody is called legal child custody. Legal child custody is the right for a parent to make decisions about how their child is raised. This means they make decisions that focus on whether their child obtains braces. They also make other decisions such as religious practices, where the child goes to school and if other parent can move to another state with the child. Parents can fight for one of two options: sole legal child custody or joint legal child custody.

What is Sole Legal Child Custody?

Sole legal child custody is awarded to one parent. This means the father or mother makes all decisions about how the child is raised. If they want to move to another state with the child, the other parent has no legal authority to stop them. The parent can consult a family law attorney about their options to prevent the other parent from leaving.
Sole legal child custody is sometimes awarded by the court to one parent based on circumstances. Sometimes parents will negotiate sole legal custody for more time with the child or because they trust the decisions the other parents make.
If a parent has sole legal child custody, they can decide to get braces for their child without consulting the other parent. The other parent may be mad about it, but there is nothing they can immediately do about the decision. Again, the parent without legal child custody could consult a family law attorney to determine their options.

What is Joint Legal Child Custody?

Joint legal child custody is awarded to both parents. Each parent has the legal right to make decisions about their child. This means the parents must discuss each decision and come up with a decision that is best for the child. For instance, both parents have legal child custody, but one wants their son to get braces. The other parent doesn’t want the child to get braces. The parent cannot take their child to the orthodontist for braces until the other agrees.

Many people may not be aware that celebrity legal custody battles often make the news because of legal child custody issues. For instance, one celebrity parent wants their child to have braces, and the other parent doesn’t, it may make headlines. However, if parents work well together and put their personal feelings aside, it is easier to make the decisions.
There are instances where both parents feel they are right about a certain issue. In this case, both parents have the right to go to court and present their cases to a judge. Based on the evidence, the judge will decide who is right in the issue. For example, a parent who doesn’t want their child to have braces could file a motion in family court. If there is not a good reason for the child to obtain braces, the judge may side with them. The other parent could present evidence from a dentist to sway the judge in their favor.

Legal Child Custody is Just as Important as Physical Child Custody.

Most parents are not aware that physical custody does not include making decisions about how their child is raised. Legal child custody is the only way a parent can make decisions about how their child is raised. If a parent doesn’t have legal child custody, they have the option to fight for it. Consult a family law attorney about options to obtain joint legal child custody. A family law attorney will explain all the options of getting legal custody such as filing a motion in family or negotiating an agreement with the other parent. It may be in the best interest of the child for both parents to make the decisions about their upbringing.

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