Have California divorcees allotted adequate parenting time?

03 Dec Have California divorcees allotted adequate parenting time?

Residents of Los Angeles, California, may be familiar with the emotional turmoil created when they decide to end their marriages. Each partner may be so caught up in individual conflicting issues relating to career and livelihood choices that not enough attention is paid to child custody and parenting time issues. Such disputes can sometimes leave children in the lurch, causing these young ones much anguish, especially if they are made to choose between their parents.

Courts adjudicating divorces in California try to avoid this kind of trauma by asking probing questions regarding child custody and visitation rights to ensure that divorcing partners have made conscious choices about the time that they each spend with their children. Crucially, it is important to determine whether the best interests of the children have been considered; parents are expected to devise suitable arrangements that meet this requirement, even if it results in child custody being awarded to only one parent.

Usually, the custodial parent must come to an agreement with the other parent to ensure adequate access between the children and the non-custodial parent. Studies have shown that children need the love and affection of both parents. This may happen through scheduled parenting time, which is often referred to as a time-share plan, and may cover such aspects of the child’s life as academics, sports and other fun activities. For example, the visiting parent could take the child to a ball game or the zoo.

Naturally, these arrangements can vary and depend on the age of the children. With infants or very young children, it may not be feasible to divide parenting time equally and visitation plans may need to change or be drawn up at a later time. The court considers it an ideal situation if California parents make such arrangements on their own accord, rather than have a court decide upon and enforce schedules.

Source: California Courts, “Parenting Time: Developing Plans,” accessed Nov. 27, 2014

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