Shared Responsibility: Is it in the Children's Best Interest?
Shared parental responsibility — not to be confused with shared custody — means that, after a divorce, both parents retain the right to make decisions regarding the children. This includes decisions about everything from after-school activities to what orthodontist the children go to. Shared child custody is a different issue, referring to the time children spend with each parent. Shared custody is not necessary to have shared parenting.
At the law firm of Anne E. Raduns, PA, we can help you determine if shared parental responsibility makes sense for you and your children, or if sole parental responsibility is necessary.
When Both Parents Should Share Responsibility
In most situations, we encourage shared parental responsibility. We feel that divorce can do too much damage to children on its own. That damage would only be increased if one parent were to disappear from the children's lives. Both parents need to have a positive relationship with the children, and that can be achieved through shared parental responsibility.
Even if one parent ends up being the primary residential parent, spending more time with the children, the non-custodial parent can still have equal decision-making powers.
When Sole Parental Responsibility is Necessary
Unfortunately, shared parental responsibility doesn't make sense in every situation. If one parent has a history of violence, drug use, crime, neglect or anything else that could put children at risk, that parent should not necessarily have any say in making decisions for the children. Our goal is to see that shared parental responsibility is only used when it will benefit the children.