Child Custody & Parenting Time
Who gets the kids? Issues around child custody may be the biggest question facing divorcing parents!
Most parents want to ensure they have significant time with their children post-divorce. And this can be a source of tension and negotiation in a divorce process.
Family law assigns legal custody to parents in a variety of ways.
It’s common nowadays for parents to share time somewhat evenly, but historically, children were with their mother for the majority of time post-divorce. However the child custody works out, there are some important terms to know.
Joint legal custody means that both parents make decisions regarding children’s education, health, religion and other major issues together. A divorced family can have joint legal custody, with one parent retaining primary physical custody of the children.
Joint legal custody encourages communication between parents and respects the rights of both parents to have a say on important matters. For joint legal custody to work, divorced parents must maintain good communication.
Physical custody refers to which parent is responsible for physically caring for the children on a daily basis. There is joint physical custody and primary physical custody.
Joint physical custody describes a situation where both parents share a portion of time and responsibility for their children; primary physical custody means one parent holds the majority of time with and responsibility for the children.
While parents may argue over who has more time with the children, it’s important during the divorce process to focus on what is best for the children.
Parenting Time is another potentially contentious part of divorce because it lays out where the children will be at different times.
The divorce process includes creating a plan for which parent has certain days, holidays, weekends and general time with the children. It can also outline the rotation of significant days fairly.
Ideally, parents work together to maintain effective, post-divorce communication for the best situation for their children.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen; it is for those situations that a Parenting Time plan becomes a guide for the family.
When parents communicate well and put children’s interests first, post-divorce life can be smooth and stress-free. During the divorce process, spouses discuss how they’d like to arrange Parenting Time post-divorce.
Anything is possible; Parenting Time schedules are as unique as the people creating them.