Parental rights are the rights of parents to make decisions for their children's best interests. These decisions may be about health care, religion, education or other things.
When parents separate or divorce, the parental rights are extremely important. Parents still retain the right to make decisions for the children, but in some cases, one parent's decisions may trump the other parent's wishes. For example, if you win sole legal custody, you will make all the decisions for your child.
How do parents make decisions when both parents have the right to do so?
For the most part, it's good for both parents to have the right to make decisions. For instance, if your child gets hurt or needs to go to the doctor, you want to be able to make decisions without input from anyone else. The decisions you make may need to be immediate or may be time sensitive, so it's not always practical to wait for someone else.
Like during marriage, when both parents have legal custody, they can both make decisions about religion, health care, education and other factors in your child's life. You should try to keep each other informed, especially if there are situations in which it's questionable if the other parent would approve of your decision.
Parental rights are granted to you when you become a parent, but it is possible to lose them if you're making bad decisions about your child's care. Remember, you always need to make decisions that are in your child's best interests, and you should try to work together with the other parent.