decision-making-for-children-during-divorceThe recent measles outbreak centered in Washington and Oregon is intensifying the debate about mandatory vaccinations. The Washington State Department of Health officials urge all parents to immunize their children with the MMR vaccine. Immunization is just one of many legal issues that parents may need to decide jointly. When parents have different views on these important decisions, conflict resolution is essential.

Negotiated custody agreements in Washington State typically give both parents legal decision-making rights for their children.  For ex-spouses who maintain effective communication after divorce, this may be easy, but for many divorced couples the task of making joint decisions about their children’s legal issues may be difficult if not impossible.  Some issues may not be anticipated, while others should be discussed during your divorce negotiations. Here are some issues that you may not have considered:

  1. Working with an athletic scout or agent for a child with a potential for an athletic college scholarship, or a professional sports contract.

  2. Giving approval for a minor to join the military.

  3. Giving approval for a minor to marry (Washington state only requires one parent to sign the application for a license)

  4. Getting a minor child a passport and allowing a child to travel out of the country with a cultural or religious exchange program.

  5. Allowing a minor child to get a driver’s license, motorcycle license or a permit to drive an off-the-road vehicle.

  6. Giving permission for a minor to get a tattoo or body piercing.

  7. Allowing a minor to apply for a hunting license or a concealed carry permit, or to participate in shooting lessons.

  8. Signing any waiver of liability, such as contracts for adventure activities or extreme sports (hiking, rock climbing, rafting, BMX, skydiving), any athletic training or participation in athletic contests, or dangers inherent in science experiments or tech training.

  9. Signing the “Concussion and Head Injury Information Sheet” required annually by Washington State law for children participating in youth sports.

  10. Medical decisions about optional vaccines, elective surgeries, treatments or rehabilitation, teen birth control, abortion or life-sustaining options.

  11. Educational decisions about home schooling, online instruction or taking college credit courses in high school.

Using the experienced family law lawyers at Molly B. Kenny, LLC, for your divorce can help prepare you for the future decision making requirements of raising your children with input from your ex-spouse.  The divorce lawyers at Molly B. Kenny, LLC will navigate you through the child custody and divorce mediation process in a way that allows you to gain effective communication and conflict resolution skills for the future.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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