The Registering Parent

A major issue cropping up in many local parenting plan involves the designation for school purposes that is set forth in parenting plans. There arises an issue when the person designated as “school designation” in the parenting plan neglects to consider the fact the parties have “shared parental responsibility” in their parenting plan.

Shared parental responsibility deals with decision-making on behalf of the child. The majority of parenting plan allow for shared decision-making. This means in order to make a decision both parents will consult and confer in order to make a joint decision. These are for decisions for medical, educational, and religious issues. For example, if a child is to attend a private school or have a particular medical treatment.

A school designation sets forth which parent’s home will be designated in order to determine which school they will attend. For example, if you live on S. Cranberry Ave. in North Port, you will likely be zoned for Cranberry Elementary School. A school designation, also sets forth which parent is responsible for registering the child— basically to become the point of contact for the school.

Many districts’ school policies intend for only one parent to be the point of contact for all communications involving the child. This is so the schools do not have to be involved in custody issues. Can you blame them? However, one problem that results is that the parent whose home is designated for the school purposes and who is then the registering parent believes he or she is the one responsible or able to make educational decision-making for the child. And, this is not the case.

Regardless of who the registering parent is, both parents, if they have shared parental responsibility, are able to make decisions. However, the registering parent has the responsibility to contact the school, communicate, and make changes to records and such.