As some of our readers may already know, there are really two types of child custody in Florida. One type, physical custody, concerns where the child will live. The parents may split custody, or one parent may have primary custody, with visitation time reserved for the other parent.
On the other hand, legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child's upbringing. This means things like where the child will go to school and what religion (or religions) he or she will be brought up in, if any. Parents often share legal custody, even if they are divorced or otherwise not together.
However, if the parents cannot reach an agreement on key matters, they may have to go to court. That is the case with the parents of a 3-year-old Florida boy. They are embroiled in a dispute over whether to circumcise their son.
After the boy was born, his parents, who were not married, signed a parenting plan that was filed with the court. The plan included a provision for the father to arrange for a circumcision. A story by WPEC-TV does not say whether the father is Jewish, Muslim or a member of another faith where circumcision is a traditional practice. It is possible that he wants his son to have a circumcision for health reasons.
Though the mother signed the parenting plan, she later changed her mind about the circumcision and has not allowed it to happen. In recent court hearings, doctors testified about the medical necessity of the procedure. A pediatric urologist told the judge that it is not necessary, though he admitted that it prevents penile cancer and reduces the risk of HIV infection.
After hearing testimony, the judge issued an order requiring the mother to cooperate with the circumcision. He specifically ordered her to hide her feelings about the procedure from her son.
Hopefully, people reading this post are able to agree on how to raise their children with the parents of their children. Those who cannot may need a family law attorney to defend their rights.
Source: WPEC-TV, "Parents In Ongoing Legal Battle Over 3-Year-Old South Florida Boy's Circumcision," Scott T. Smith, May 14, 2014