Can parents have equal rights and decision making powers regarding their children?

By Kate Miller
November 21, 2017
Can parents have equal rights and decision making powers regarding their children?

It is absolutely possible for both parents to have equal rights and decision making powers regarding their children regardless of whether or not their time is split between homes. Parents have equal rights, that's it, they have equal rights unless a court has deemed one parent unfit or a danger to the child. Parents usually have joint decision making.

There are a few exceptions like if a parent lives out of state with the children then the court might give the parent who lives in state with the children sole decision making. The reason for this is because it can be difficult to co-parent across state lines. Equal rights and decision making are separate issues from how parenting time is actually divided.

Many parents make this mistake of believing these issues are entwined. For example a parent might say that because the other parent has not paid child support that he or she cannot see the children for their court ordered parenting time or make decisions regarding the child. This belief is just incorrect. Assuming there is no court order to the contrary, a parent has rights to parenting time and decision making independent of child support. A parent gets to see the children and have decision making regardless of other issues like payment of child support.

Kate Miller is a Denver, Colorado attorney focused exclusively on the practices of divorce and family law. She has lived many of the issues regarding divorce and child custody, and is passionate about helping people through this process. To learn more about Kate and her firm visit

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November 21, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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