August 2015 – Parenting time

Parenting time is the court-ordered time that each parent may spend with their child. When parents live in separate homes, the challenges are greater because relationships become more complicated especially incorporating the myriad of school and extracurricular activities that the children may be involved in as well as each parent’s respective work schedule. Sometimes parents disagree about how much time children should spend with each parent. A written parenting plan provides children and parents with predictability and consistency and can prevent future and unnecessary conflict.

Parenting time is based on factors that include, but are not limited to, each parent’s schedule, the child or children’s schedules, ages of each child, the relationship between the parents and child prior to the separation and the geographic distance between the parents. An important part of a parenting plan includes the agreement parents reach about legal decision making, formerly termed as custody.

Unless special circumstances are present, preserving a healthy and ongoing relationship between the children and both parents after divorce or separation is of greatest importance. If parents don’t agree on legal decision making and/or parenting time, the judge will decide. The conflict that occurs during a divorce can be devastating to a child. The goal is to reduce the conflict.

As children get older, parents should make sure their parenting plan considers the children’s involvement with school, friends, clubs, sports or other commitments. With school starting again, the logistics of having your children participate in extracurricular activities is something that should be reviewed before each school year. If your current parenting plan is not working like is used to, it may be time to consider a modification to your parenting plan.

Determining the time your children will spend with each parent is difficult and challenging. At Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law we know that this is an extremely inportant issue that can be made easier by having an attorney at your side. Our experienced attorneys will help you create a written plan so that, you and your children will know what to expect and you and the other parent will have fewer conflicts about shared parenting time.

If you would like to contact Owens & Perkins, Attorneys at Law regarding your parenting plan, call (480) 994-8824 for a free ½ hour consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.