What is decision-making responsibility and who gets it?

As of March 1, 2021, the term  has changed to . And in most situations, the term  has changed to . Now, all parents usually have parenting time.

Also, a person who isn't a parent or step-parent may get a to spend time with a child. For example a grandparent can get this order.

Decision-making responsibility is the right to make major decisions about how to care for and raise your child. Decision-making responsibility used to be called custody.

Decision-making responsibility is not about who your child lives with or how much time your child spends with each of you. The time that a child spends in the care of a parent is called parenting time.

Parenting time used to be called access for the parent who didn't have any decision-making responsibility. Now, all parents usually have parenting time.

For example, even if you have the right to make all the decisions about your child, your child might spend equal amounts of time with you and your partner. Or, your child might live mainly with you, but you and your partner share decision-making responsibility.

The parent with decision-making responsibility has the right to make important decisions about:

  • education
  • medical care
  • religion
  • important extra-curricular activities

 Decision-making responsibility can be divided in a few ways:

  • one parent has all the decision-making responsibility,
  • 2 or more parents have decision-making responsibility, or
  • different parents are responsible for different areas. For example, one parent makes decisions about the child's health and another parent makes decisions about the child's religion.
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