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Sharing Important Decisions Regarding Your Child

 Posted on May 11, 2018 in Child Custody

DuPage County family law attorneyIf you are a parent and are unmarried, separated, or divorced, you probably already know that sharing parenting responsibilities is not always easy. When parents disagree about how their child should be raised, conflict can arise which is not in the best interest of the child. Incompatible parenting styles can create unnecessary tension and complication in your family. One of the best ways to avoid conflict when in a shared parenting scenario is to sit down with the other parent and create a parenting plan or parenting agreement. A parenting plan can clearly designate each parent’s role in making important decisions about the child’s life.

Significant Decision-Making

The term “significant decision-making” refers to “deciding issues of long-term importance in the life of a child.” The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act outlines some decisions that are considered significant, including:

  • What school the child will attend as well as decisions regarding additional tutoring or education;
  • Health care decisions including which doctor the child sees;
  • Spiritual or religious requirements; and
  • Extracurricular activities such as after-school programs, sports, or clubs.

Depending on you and your family’s unique circumstances, more decisions than this may be considered significant.

Ideally, Parents Make Significant Decisions Together

As a part of your parenting agreement, you and your child’s other parent should determine and record who will be responsible for decision-making regarding the items listed above. If you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement about who will be in charge of these types of decisions, the court may be required to make arrangements for you. The court has the authority to allocate parental responsibilities in instances where parents cannot agree and will always do so with the child’s best interest in mind.

There are many ways that parents can share decision-making responsibilities. Some parents find that they can make significant decisions regarding things like education and healthcare together. Other parents find that it is better to split responsibilities. For example, one parent can be in charge of the child’s participation in religious activities while the other parent makes decisions regarding education. For some situations, it is best if one parent makes all of the significant decisions about a child’s life while the other is available to add input when needed.

We Can Help

At A. Traub & Associates we know that it can be quite difficult to effectively share parent responsibilities. If you have further questions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, contact a knowledgeable Lombard family law attorney to get the answers you need. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule your confidential initial consultation today.



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