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There are big three decision making areas regarding children and parental
The first area is about medical decision making. For example, the parents
have to agree on whether a child will be vaccinated. If they don’t agree,
then that’s a dispute. Procedures with the dentist, mental health, therapy
also fall under the medical decision making realm.
Then there’s religion. Is the child going to be raised religiously, and what
religion will be practiced? What if the parents have different religions?
The third area is education. The court cannot order a child to attend a
certain school or a certain school district. However, the court can award
sole decision making to one parent.
There are two other aspects that come into play: extracurricular activities
and recreational activities. All of these are areas where the parties have to
If there are disputes and you have joint decision making, then you can go
to court. You can seek to have sole decision making with respect to that
area, and you need to have a good argument as to why. Usually it has to
meet an endangerment standard.
And this is why it’s really important to have a solid parenting plan in place
that outlines the rights and responsibilities of every single issue. If you don’t
have that, you are dealing with ambiguity, and that’s not a good place to