One of the issues Wisconsin parents have to address when they go their separate ways is the custody of their children. Joint legal custody is one of the options that may be available to them.
With joint legal custody, both parents have the legal right to make significant decisions regarding their children. This means that matters regarding healthcare, education and religion will be decided on by both parents. Legal custody is distinct from physical custody, and it is not guaranteed that joint physical custody will be granted if joint legal custody has been awarded. Situations in which the children live the majority of their time with one parent and have regularly scheduled visitation with the other is very common with shared legal custody.
Parents may find that sharing legal custody can be beneficial for many reasons. Joint legal custody means that both parents will have to communicate when making decisions regarding their children, and seeing their parents working collaboratively can benefit the children. The effort that the parents have to make to work together can also make them more efficient at compromising and handling disagreements.
One of the drawbacks of sharing legal custody is that there is no clear-cut example of successfully collaborating on major decisions. Whether it is successful will depend on that particular family's situation. Also, while working together is an important factor in shared legal custody, sometime consulting with each other before making a decision is impractical.
An attorney who practices family law may assist clients with resolving legal disputes regarding child custody matters. Litigation may be used to protect the interests and rights of clients who want to modify existing child custody orders.