What is Shared Parental Responsibility and What is Sole Parental Responsibility?

“Shared parental responsibility” is where both parents retain full rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined together. Shared parental responsibility is what is usually ordered by the courts. If the parties have shared parental responsibility but can not agree they can ask the court to decide the issue or potentially change parental responsibility.

“Sole parental responsibility” means only one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child. Where warranted by specific facts a court can order ultimate decision making authority or sole parental responsibility be given to one party concerning a child or specific issues concerning a child like, for example one parent could be awarded decision making concerning education. To award sole parental responsibility the court must make a determination that shared parental responsibility would cause detriment or harm to the child. Sole parental responsibility is not usually order by the courtsand is only awarded where warranted by the specific facts of the case.

If you have questions about shared or sole parental responsibility in your case please call our office for a consultation.

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