What are the options for legal responsibility (legal custody)?
Legal responsibility means who has the right to make important decisions about your child and decide how your child is raised. Some examples of these types of decisions are:
- what kind of education your child receives;
- how your child receives medical and dental care;
- what type of religious training your child will receive; and
- if your child can travel outside of Vermont.1
Judges usually give this decision-making ability to one parent. That is called having sole legal responsibility or sole legal custody. When parents share the right to make important decisions about the child’s life (usually due to an agreement between the parents) this is called shared legal responsibility. If there’s more than one child, a judge can also order split legal responsibility, where the mother has the decision-making ability for some of the children but the father has the decision-making ability for the other children.
1 15 V.S.A. § 664(1)(A)