Every parent wants to spend time with their children. It’s perhaps why parenting time gets the spotlight in most divorce proceedings. However, the decision-making ability of a parent in their children’s lives is equally vital.
Decision-making can either be a sole or shared responsibility. If your co-parent is awarded sole rights, they can make crucial decisions affecting the children without seeking your approval. However, there has to be a consensus between both parents should decision-making be a shared responsibility.
Joint decision-making rights
The courts prefer when both parents are involved in the child’s life. Therefore, most parenting plans adopt a shared joint parental responsibility arrangement unless the children’s well-being is at risk.
If you share decision-making, you should be involved in major decisions affecting the child’s life, even if you are not the parent with physical possession of the children. You have a right to decide on things like your child’s education, any medical procedures they should undergo or even their religious instructions.
If your co-parent makes major decisions affecting your children without consulting you or seeking your consent, it could be a violation of the parenting plan.
Enforcing your parenting plan
A parenting plan issued by a judge is essentially an order of the court and all parties must abide by it. However, before a judge determines the matter, they must consider the prevailing circumstances. For instance, the court is not likely to take any action if a quick decision from your co-parent was needed in an emergency to save your child’s life.
However, if your spouse blatantly disobeys court orders, the court will likely take action. Your co-parent could be held in contempt of court, or the judge could review the parenting plan to uphold your parental rights.
Decision-making is such a vital role as a parent. Therefore, your right to make critical decisions surrounding your children is necessary, and you should know the steps to take if you are being left out of the picture.