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Divorce Court Has Authority to Award One Parent Sole Decision Making Responsibility For The Children

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2014 | Divorce & Family

When issuing a Parenting Plan, the divorce/family court will issue orders regarding how the parents will make decisions for the minor children given that the parents’ relationship has ended. By statute, there is a presumption that joint decision making responsibility is in the child’s/children’s best interests. However, this presumption may be overcome if the divorce/family court finds there has been abuse between the parents or if the evidence establishes that the parents are unable to communicate effectively.

In the matter of Mannion and Mannion, The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the Family Court’s decision to award one parent sole decision making responsibility without a finding of abuse being made, because of the parents’ inability to communicate with each other and their inability to co-parent. Under this circumstance, the divorce/family court determined that awarding sole decision making responsibility to one parent was in the children’s best interests as the parents’ relationship was dysfunctional.

If you have any questions regarding the award of decision making responsibility, please contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan.


Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court.  Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.