Question asked on Nov. 21, 2019
Q: I would like to have sole legal responsibility for the decisions regarding my son, however, at this time, I’m not currently against his father having visitation as long as he’s proving stable at the time. His father has, in the recent year, proven to be experiencing struggles that make me uncomfortable with him having any legal responsibility with our son. I’ve felt this way for quite some time but its been his behavior and choices as of late that have me taking action for my sons best interest. and protection.
A: The short answer is “yes, it is possible.” Since the 2009 Rivero decision, which is explained and linked here, courts can independently allocate legal and physical custodial rights, and can even fine-tune legal custody to one parent in specific areas, such as health care or education. It is unusual, however, to see a parent “experiencing struggles” such that his or her decision-making capability is questioned, but not his or her ability to properly parent a child physically. But, of course, every case is different. It would almost certainly be best, before doing anything, to consult with a family law specialist.