Divorced parents may not always see eye to eye when raising their children. There are many important decisions that parents must make on behalf of their kids such as what religion they will practice or where they will attend school to decisions regarding medical treatment including whether their child will take a vaccine.
In Illinois, the allocation of parenting responsibilities (and parenting time) are part of a parenting plan submitted to the court for approval when parents’ divorce. Parenting responsibility, or the right to make important decisions for a child, fall into three categories with the child’s best interests in mind:
Parents can agree to make all major decisions jointly, working together as a team to chart the best course for their child’s education, health, and religious upbringing.
Parents agree to divide some decisions. This approach works well if one parent is more involved in their child’s day to day education, for example, and has a better handle on which schools or educational programs are best for a child. As every situation and decision is unique, parents can divide some decisions and share others.
Sole decision making responsibility means that one parent will make all the important decisions regarding the child.
Whether parents allocate certain responsibilities to one or make all important decisions regarding their child together, there will inevitably be times when parents disagree. It may be that parents cannot not agree whether a child can have a cell phone or access to the internet at a certain age. It could be that a decision regarding a transfer to a new school or church puts parents at odds. Even health decisions such as braces or no braces, vaccines or no vaccines, or whether to undergo a surgery or stick with physical therapy to treat an injury, can cause a divide even though both parents likely feel that they are advocating for the best interests of their child.
When you are concerned about the well-being of your child because of a parenting decision that you disagree with, it is important to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney. Sometimes skilled negotiation will settle conflicts of opinion between parents, while other times an issue will have to be decided in court. It is important to secure the help of an experienced family law attorney who specializes in custody issues including parental responsibility and your right to protect your child. Contact the law offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates PC today.