Parenting-time refers to which parent the child lives with. In a very broad sense, there are two kinds of parenting-time: equal and unequal.
Who Gets To Decide?
In deciding on a parenting-time plan, a judge considers many factors:
- What kind of relationship the parent has had with the child
- How the parents interact the child’s brothers and sisters, plus anyone else who may significantly impact the child’s best interests
- How the child is currently adjusted to home, school and neighborhood
- How the child feels about parenting-time, provided the child is of an age or mature enough to have an opinion
- The mental and physical health of parents and the child
- Whether either parent is open to allowing the child frequent, meaningful and continuing contact with the other parent
- Whether there are reports of violence or child abuse in the family
- Whether coercion or duress were involved in obtaining a decision-making or parenting-time agreement
- Whether either parent has been convicted of false reporting of child abuse or neglect
Question: Do You Really Need A Lawyer?
If you and your ex-spouse are in complete agreement and have a parenting plan in place that both can embrace, you may not need a lawyer at all. But in most cases, there is enormous emotion about having access to the children of the marriage. It is a difficult situation requiring thoughtfulness and knowledge of the law. That is what I provide for my clients.
I also assist with modifications to parenting plans so the courts are made aware of significant changes, including relocation.