When going through a divorce or other break-up, often parents are most concerned about how their children will be impacted. What used to be commonly known as legal and physical custody are now referred to as Legal decision-making and parenting time. Legal decision-making concerns the decisions made regarding the children's education, health, religion and personal care. Typically parents share joint legal decision-making, which provides both parents the ability to equally participate in making those decisions. Less frequently, one parent will have sole legal decision-making. Parenting time provides a schedule of when each parent will spend time with the children, to include regular, holiday and vacation time, as well as school breaks. Specificity with regard to times and locations of exchanges is very important when writing a parenting time schedule so that both parents and the children have clear expectations and parameters.
Our firm understands that every family is different and a schedule can be created to support the best interests of the children and your unique circumstances. A written parenting plan, which includes legal decision-making and a parenting time schedule, must be filed before a divorce or legal separation that involve minor children or a paternity matter can be finalized and will remain a very important resource for both parents as they move forward. The rights and responsibilities outlined in the parenting plan should serve to alleviate disagreements and provide clear direction when questions may arise.
If parents disagree about legal decision-making and/or parenting time, the court will make the decision based on statutory factors focused on the best interests of the children. When parties who share children divorce, separate or otherwise live apart, their relationship as parents will continue as their children grow and mature.
Call Kinerk Law Office at 520-333-3393 to set up a consultation on your potential parenting and custodial issues.