Co-parenting following a divorce or separation can be difficult. Keeping the lines of communication open and productive with a former spouse or partner is challenging, but parents always need to work together to share information for the benefit of the child. It is important to have a firm understanding of what kind of information and how much you are required to share with the other parent.
In the vast majority of cases, parents share joint legal custody. This means that both parents share in the major decision making process for the child. Decisions about medical procedures, extra-curricular activities, religion, and other big choices must be discussed and shared by the parents. To that end, in situations involving joint custody, the parents are required to share the information that is necessary to complete this. For example, if the child requires a medical procedure, the parents need to share doctor names, medical records, and appointment times in order to facilitate the process. However, just because one parent has sole legal custody does not mean the other parent has no right to information about the child. Even though one parent has the legal right to make these big decisions, the non-custodial parent will still have the right of access to records such as medical records or school records. Sharing extra-curricular schedules, parent teacher conference calendars, and other timetables that have important events for the child also need to be shared, regardless of whether the parents have joint legal custody.
Every detail of a child’s day to day life does not need to be shared with the other parent, however. Information such as what you and your child plan to do over the weekend, play dates, or birthday parties for the child’s friend that you plan to attend does not have to be provided.
Other information must also be shared, even if it is not an issue requiring a decision. Most common among these is the residence of the child. Barring special circumstances such as a history of violence or harassing behavior, the parents need to share the address of where they reside with the other parent, and in fact this information is required to be included in the final custody order.We have experience in helping our clients understand the requirements of their custody order and meeting their obligations. If you have questions about what is required of you and the other parent pursuant to your custody order, contact us today at (732) 529-6937 to discuss your case.