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The role of parent-time in a child custody plan

Parents continue to support and care for their kids after a separation or divorce through custody and/or parent-time. Parents generally share joint legal custody, which has to do with the right to make important decisions regarding the children. Physical custody has to do with where the children live. Physical custody can be sole, joint, or split. When one parent is awarded sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent will usually have parent-time with the children.

It is important that parents remember their custody and parent-time arrangement may look differently from those of their friends and relatives. The individual facts and circumstances of a case will determine its outcome. No part of this post should be read as legal advice or guidance.

What is parent-time?

Parent-time, also known as visitation, is the time a parent spends with their children. When parents cannot agree on a parent-time, state law provides for a minimum parent-time schedule.

What types of parent-time exist?

Like custody, parent-time can take on different forms. Many parents are awarded “reasonable” parent-time, which means that they have some flexibility to spend time with their kids. Other parents may find that they must follow parent-time schedules that explicitly state when they have their children. The court can order any schedule that is in the children’s best interests and any other relevant factors.

When a parent cannot provide safe accommodations for their child, or when a parent may pose a danger to their child, their parent-time may be supervised. Supervised parent-time takes place in the company of a neutral third party. That party is present to ensure the safety and welfare of the children present.

Custody and parent-time are two different, but related, issues. A family law and divorce attorney can support a parent’s fight for custody and/or parent-time or modify an existing order to remedy changes in circumstance that have transpired.

 

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