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Legal Custody—What are We Fighting For?

Divorcing parents often battle over custody of the children, not just during the divorce but sometimes afterwards as well. So do unmarried people involved in paternity actions. But what exactly is legal custody, and over what are the parents actually fighting?

Legal custody has nothing do with where a child lives or with parenting time. It is the decision-making power that is assigned to one or by both parents by the court. Legal custody refers to whether both parents are, together, going to make the major decisions affecting the upbringing of a child. Examples include decisions on such matters as religion, extracurricular activities, summer camp and non-emergency medical care.

If both parents communicate well enough to jointly make those decisions, the courts award joint legal custody to the parents. If only one parent is to make all such decisions, the court awards sole legal custody to that parent.

When there is a custody battle and who makes decisions is at issue, let’s be sure we know what is at stake.

Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in determining whether you can enforce grandparent rights. Call us at 913 236 7260 or 816 421 4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.