Am I Responsible for Providing My Co-Parent with Information if We Have Shared Legal Custody in Pennsylvania

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The presumption for a physical custodyarrangement varies significantly depending on the distance between the parties and various other factors. However, in almost every custody arrangement, the parties will exercise shared legal custody. This means that both parents will be involved in making educational, financial, religious and medical decisions and allowed to access all documents related to these decisions. Usually the expectation is that unless there is an emergency, both parties will be involved in making these decisions and will keep each other updated about daily decisions.

However, many people who are placed in the position of sharing legal custody wonder if they are responsible for communicating everything to the other parent. For example, is the primary custodian responsible for forwarding all the children’s report cards to the other parent.

The answer to that question is usually no. Usually, parents are expected not to obstruct or withhold information from the other parent; however, most courts will lay an equal burden on bot parents. For example, both parents should be responsible for signing up for email updates from school and asking for records from pediatricians. Neither party is meant to be the other’s secretary, and neither parent will be held in contempt for not providing the other parent with all of the documentation. However, a parent would likely be held responsible if they purposely obstruct the other parent’s access to documents by failing to list the other parent in school or medical forms.

If you have more questions about the implementation of a shared legal custody order, contact our Pittsburgh office today!