The actress Halle Berry took her ex husband to court for straightening their daughter’s hair without her consent. The news article is located here.
Leaving aside any racial component, a child’s appearance falls under “legal custody”. As noted previously, certain decisions require joint agreement, and if the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Court may be called in to make a decision. The Court (or the parties) can also craft “joint legal custody” orders to specify what actions require joint agreement and which do not.
For example, a joint legal custody order may require that parents agree to all non-emergency decisions about a child. The parties may also agree that one party may be “in charge” of educational decisions while the other party is “in charge” of selecting the child’s doctor. The Courts provide a template for different types of joint legal custody orders. Parents are free to divide the responsibilities as they wish assuming the child’s best interest is basis for that division.
If you have questions about joint legal custody provisions, be sure to speak to an experienced family law attorney.