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Separation and Divorce: Making Decisions and Spending Time with Children

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Can someone other than a parent get decision-making responsibility and parenting time?

Usually, the child's parents get decision-making responsibility. But in some cases, other people might get decision-making responsibility. For example, a step-parent, grandparent, or other relative.

When a person who is not a parent or a step-parent wants to spend time with a child, they can ask the court for a contact order. For example, a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.

A parent with decision-making responsibility can choose who gets decision-making responsibility for their child for the first 90 days after their own death. This does not have to be the other parent. The person they choose, or anyone else, can apply to court to get decision-making responsibility after that.

Courts decide decision-making responsibility and parenting time based on what is in the best interests of the child.