Decision Making: What is it and What Factors Influence It?

What is decision making responsibility regarding the minor children and how is it assigned? Design making responsibility in Colorado relates to major decisions and the default or fall back is joint decision making. In other words, we want both parents to be involved in major decisions for the children. Those major decisions typically include where are they going to go to school; what religion are they going to be raised; and participation in major extracurricular activities for example soccer camp, gymnastics, ice-skating or other activities that are time-consuming and would tend to overlap on the other party’s parenting time. Also decision making regarding major medical decisions. For example, orthodontia decisions, maybe the child needs surgery.

Decision making can be either joint or it can be sole. The courts do prefer joint decision making because we want both parties to be involved in major decisions for the children. That helps facilitate co-parenting. There are some instances where that’s not practical or feasible. A common example is when there’s been domestic violence, a history of domestic violence, then perhaps joint decision making is not going to be appropriate. At that point, one parent would be awarded sole decision making. A lot of times there is a consult and confer provision. In other words, one parent would consult with the other parents about a major decision and attempt to confer. If there is an impasse or no response, then the parent with the decision making will make that decision.

Ordinary decisions about day to day activities are typically made by the parent who has parenting time at that point in time. Examples of that would be what am I going to feed my children; what clothing are they going to wear; what is their bed time; how are we going to handle homework; what are the rules in my household? Those decisions are routine day to day decisions that are typically made by the parent who has parenting time. If you have a dispute and you are unable to resolve a decision making issue, you may need to hire a expert to help weigh in on what is in the best interest of the children. You might need to consider hiring a child and family investigator. You might need to consider hiring a parental responsibilities evaluator. Here at Lewis and Matthews, we can give you valuable advice about what is the approach for your specific case.