How Can I Ensure I Get Equal Parenting Time?

How Can I Ensure I Get Equal Parenting Time?

We’ve all heard it a million times. A friend unloads his emotional baggage about his failing marriage, but then tries to put on a brave face as he says, “But we’re going to stick it out. You know, for the kids.” Whether parents remain in an unhealthy marriage because they think splitting up will be too hard on the kids or because they themselves don’t want to miss out on time with their kids, divorce issues often coincide with parenting issues.

A New Trend in Child Custody Cases

In November of 2014, the elections included a voter initiative in North Dakota called the “Parental Rights Initiative,” which would obligate courts to give “equal parenting time” to both parents engaged in a separation or divorce. Although the measure was voted down, it’s representative of a countrywide push for more fair and equitable practices in child custody legislation [i].

How is custody decided?

Typically, courts attempt to give children as much access to both parents as possible since research is clear that children of divorce cope much better in such situations. Unless there are undeniable reasons to withhold custody from one parent or the other, joint custody is almost inevitable. Other than a court withholding custody, the only way a parent would not have any kind of custody would be if he or she willfully declined it.

How is visitation decided?

Typically with joint custody, one parent is named the primary custodian, which means that the children must spend at least 51% of their time with that parent. Even in that case, all decisions about the children are shared between the parents. This also doesn’t mean that the parents can’t adjust the schedule as they see fit through communication with each other and attempting to do what’s best for the children and what works best for everyone’s schedule. Visitation can be set in any way that makes sense to both parents and that they can agree upon.

Indiana Family Law Attorney

The Law Office of Stanley E. Robison, Jr. is committed to answering your questions and meeting your unique legal needs.  Call us today to schedule an appointment at (812) 945-3055 or contact us online.

[i] DiFonzo, J. Herbie. There’s a great way to figure out child custody. Most divorce courts don’t use it. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/11/14/no-children-should-not-spend-equal-time-with-their-divorced-parents/

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