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What if the other parent tries to control my parenting?

Reviewed July 2017

If I do not do what the other parent tells me to, can they take me to court?

Shared legal custody means you have the responsibility to make big decisions about your child together. Big decisions include things like where your child should go to school and the religion your child should be raised in.  What a child will wear or eat are not big decisions.

If you have shared or sole physical custody, you make the day-to-day decisions when your child is with you. You choose your child's babysitter. And you decide what your child wears, eats, and watches on television.  The other parent makes these decisions when your child is with them and when they have parenting time or visitation.

Even with big decisions, you do not have to do what the other parent wants just because you share legal custody. If the two of you cannot agree on something, either of you can go back to court and ask a judge to decide.

If the other parent goes to court about small decisions like what your child wears, the judge may think that is wasting the court’s time. You can ask the judge to order the other parent to pay you for wasting your time and the court’s time.

If the other parent keeps bothering you about day-to-day decisions, you may need to go to court and ask the judge to change your custody order to sole legal custody.

Read about

Shared and sole custody

Parenting time or visitation

Change your custody order

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