Schooling for Children after Divorce (1)
|Thursday, 07 January 2010 15:13|
When parents are separated they can be faced with a complicated decision of where and which school their children will attend. In some cases this will raise the question:
'Can one parent make this decision alone without consulting, or involving the other parent in the decision making process?'
To answer that question we need to look at two concepts 'parental responsibility' and issues regarded as 'major long term issues' which affect children. We will look at 'major long term issues' in a future article.
What is 'Parental Responsibility'?
'Parental responsibility' is essentially the responsibility parents of a child have in making all the necessary decisions to ensure their child’s needs are met. Such decisions affect the long term welfare of a child and include, but are by no means limited to, decisions regarding:
Generally speaking, parents (or others charged with the responsibility for children) have, and indeed share, parental responsibility for their children, regardless of any changes to the living arrangements of the parents, or changes to their relationship. (e.g. When a child's parents separate or remarry.)
When a dispute arises between parents regarding their children, which comes within the sphere of the Family Law Act 1975 ('FLA'), that the need to allocate parental responsibility might arise. If a Court order is made in relation to a child and the order does not specifically allocate parental responsibility, or some aspect of it to one parent, then both parents retain their existing responsibilities.
However, having said that, there are some matters which might normally be regarded as day to day issues, but which have the potential of being major long term issues. For example, what a child eats during time spent with a parent is normally a day to day issue and a matter for the parent, in whose care the child is at the time, to be responsible for. But, if there is a significant issue with a particular child's health and diet, then the decision as to what the child eats has the potential of being a major long term issue which needs the consideration, cooperation and joint involvement of both parents.
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