Worksheet for Assigning Parental Decision-Making After a Divorce

The purpose of the worksheet
When there is conflict in the family, there may be problems in parental decision making. Sometimes even though they were unable to maintain a marital partnership, parents are able to confer and cooperate regarding the children. Other times, there are conflicts regarding decision-making.

If the parents have disagreed as to major decisions regarding the children in the intact marriage, they may agree to shared parental responsibility with ultimate responsibility as an alternative to full shared parental responsibility. What this means is that the parents still must confer and cooperate and still attempt to reach joint agreement on major decisions regarding the minor child, but may agree that one of them has the “final word,” if they cannot agree. This avoids going to court to let a judge decide who the parent with the final word will be, and allows the parents to divide areas of the final word.

This worksheet can help determine the specific areas of conflict.

How to use the worksheet

First, identify the areas of conflict. For some areas there may be no conflict.

Then, for the areas of conflict, each parent should number the categories of specific aspects of decision-making in order of importance to him or her. This will vary because each family has unique priorities regarding what is important.

Then, the parents can attempt to agree about which will have the final word in that area.

M: Conflict area F: Conflict area Order of importance Final Word
Education ______ ______ ______ ______
Private v.
public school
______ ______ ______ ______
Religion ______ ______ ______ ______
Religious training
or education
______ ______ ______ ______
Discipline ______ ______ ______ ______
Medical ______ ______ ______ ______
Dental ______ ______ ______ ______
Orthodontic ______ ______ ______ ______
Psycological ______ ______ ______ ______
Social
activities
______ ______ ______ ______
Extracurricular
activities
______ ______ ______ ______
Contact sports ______ ______ ______ ______
Recreation ______ ______ ______ ______
Homework ______ ______ ______ ______
Summer camp ______ ______ ______ ______
Dress ______ ______ ______ ______
Travel ______ ______ ______ ______
Private
lessons
______ ______ ______ ______
Tutoring ______ ______ ______ ______
Access to
grandparents
______ ______ ______ ______
Other: ______ ______ ______ ______
Other: ______ ______ ______ ______
Other: ______ ______ ______ ______