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Can divorced parents sue each other over child-rearing?

When it comes to child-rearing, can one divorced parent sue the other if they can't agree? The answer is yes. This actually happens quite frequently. For example, judges in family courts decide where children whose parents have divorced will go to school, receive health care or even take music lessons.

Why do judges do this? The law automatically assumes that divorced parents are not able to come to an agreement on how to raise their children. Today, though, almost half of all first marriages will end up in divorce. Almost 40 percent of all children born in the United States are born out of wedlock. Some states have started to refer to child custody orders as parenting plans.

There are decades of research behind it and many psychologists who support this shift. Parenting that is handled in a cooperative way is more beneficial for children. This is true even if a parenting plan is very complex. According to one expert, parenting plans should be honored by the court instead of the court telling parents how to raise their children. While all judges use the "best interests of the child," as a guide, an agreed-upon parenting plan should become the primary concentration.

When parents can't agree, mediation or collaborative law can often help. The same expert mentioned above said that just six hours of mediation brought about improvements in a familial relationships up to 12 years later. It's statistics like this that show there are alternative methods of determining issues involving children during divorce.

At the Family Legal Center, LLC, we believe in mediation and collaborative law approaches to custody. However, should the need arise for litigation, we are experienced and are prepared to vigorously defend our client's rights as well as his or her children's rights. Take a look at our webpage on collaborative law to learn more.

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