In the majority of Dissolution of Marriage cases involving children, Shared Parental Responsibility (“SPR”) is awarded to both parties. SPR has nothing to do with Parenting Time or Visitation. SPR addresses each parent’s decision-making authority over their children’s such as their health, education and general welfare. One can imagine the difficulties this can raise after a contested divorce in trying to get on the same page with your former spouse on critical issues about your children’s future.
Where your child attends school, as an example, has been a hotly contested issue between divorced parents and can sometimes result in litigation and trial. Children may have issues in their current school and want to change schools, a parent may move without consulting the other parent and that could impact the school zone and where the children can attend school, are a few examples illustrating the complexities involved. Making this issue even more difficult is if you have a disagreement with your spouse as to where your children attend school, a parent cannot simply go to Court and ask the judge to decide which school the children should attend because the judge will not make that decision. What the Court will address, is whether one parent is better suited to making the educational decisions on behalf of the children than the other parent; that is called Sole Parental Responsibility or Ultimate Decision-Making Authority. The Court tends to narrow the scope of what decision-making authority it awards one of the parents to insure that the other parent isn’t at a significant disadvantage in raising his or her children.
If you’re having difficulties reaching decisions about your children with your former spouse, give us a call. We are here to help.