The term parental authority refers to all the rights and obligations that parents have with regard to their children from the time they are born, whether or not they live together. For example, parents have a duty to care for, supervise and educate their child, and to ensure that the child remains safe and in good health. They must also ensure that the child is fed, choose where the child lives and goes to school, consent to medical care for the child, and so on.
When parents separate, they continue to exercise their parental authority together, even if they are not sharing a home. The non-custodial parent must be consulted concerning all major decisions affecting the child, for example in connection with medical care.