Aurora Family Law Attorney
Joint Decision Making Authority
Equal decision making authority is a term in which both parents share the decision making authority in raising their minor child(ren). Equal decision making authority can be entered into as part of an agreement, parenting plan, or can be awarded by a family court if it is in the child's best interest. Among other requirements, the court must find that both parents are "fit" to raise the minor child(ren). Allegations of abuse of the minor child by either party may preclude a finding that equal decision making authority is in the best interests of the child(ren). Equal decision making authority specifically refers to the decision making authority of both parties, in regards to the child's health care, education, religion and extra-curricular activities as well as other issues that affect the child's life.
Contact our Aurora divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of David Lee for a free phone consultation.
Even if equal decision making authority is awarded to both parties, the parties' or the court may determine that only one party has "physical" or "residential" custody over the minor child. In these cases, the "non-physical" or "non-residential" custodian will have a set visitation schedule as agreed to by the parties or as ordered by the court. In these instances, the "non-residential" parent may be required to pay child support to the "residential" parent. In some cases, the "residential" custody of the minor child will have no bearing on whether the other party will be required to pay child support.
Understanding Equal Decision Making Authority matters
If both parties can agree that it is in the best interests of the minor child to have equal decision making authority, parties will have to reduce this agreement into a parenting plan within 120 days after service of summons.
The parenting plan will usually state:
- Where the minor child will live.
- Who will be the primary caretaker of the minor child(ren).
- Who will be in charge of the minor child's activities.
- The visitation or parenting schedule of both parents.
- The rights of both parties as to specific records involving the minor child(ren).
- How future disputes or issues will be reconciled and/or addressed.
Contact an Aurora family law attorney for legal representation in any child custody or divorce matter.
The Law Offices of David Lee is available in Kane, Kendall, Dupage, and Dekalb Counties