Child Custody Lawyer
If you and your spouse share minor children and have recently decided to divorce, you may have any number of concerns regarding how your divorce will affect your children. You may also have numerous questions about the “legal side” of co-parenting, child custody arrangements, child support, etc. Thankfully, you do not need to navigate these challenges alone. An experienced attorney can help you sort through your legal options and help you to craft a strategy that reflects your child’s best interests.
Depending on your family’s unique situation, you may be looking at a custodial arrangement that is shared. Alternatively, you or your spouse may assume primary or sole custody of your child while the other spends a significantly fewer number of days with your child during the year. There is no one “right” way to approach custody, etc. after a divorce, so you should have no shame about embracing whatever approach is healthiest for your family. When making child custody and parenting agreement determinations, you will almost certainly run across the term “parenting time.” It is important to understand how this term is used as you seek to structure your own family’s parenting time schedule.
Parenting Time – The Basics
The term parenting time may be used in one of two ways. First, it may be used interchangeably with the term “visitation.” Some parents do not share custody of their children. Instead, one parent has sole custody and the other has visitation rights. In some contexts, parenting time may be used interchangeably with visitation rights that are non-custodial in nature.
Second, parenting time may be used to refer, quite simply, to any period of time in which one parent has primary access to their children. Whether custody is shared or one parent has visitation rights, parenting time simply means that one parent is spending time (either physical or virtual) with his or her kids. This terminology helps to reinforce the reality that no matter how much or little time is spent between parents and their children, that time is valuable and has inherent worth.
Parenting Time Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about child custody, parenting agreements and/or parenting time generally, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney at your earliest possible convenience. Few transitions in life are more potentially stressful than navigating divorce while parenting minor children. Working with an experienced attorney can help to ensure that your co-parenting situation is as healthy and effective as possible under the circumstances.
Whether your divorce has been amicable or adversarial, experienced family law attorneys have “seen it all” and can help you set a solid foundation for your co-parenting relationship moving forward. As a solid parenting agreement will help to advance your child’s best interests (and is therefore critically important), it is generally a good idea to seek experienced legal advice as soon as you start thinking about how yours should be structured. Experienced family lawyers in Bloomington, Illinois would be happy to provide you with guidance and support at this time and moving forward.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and parenting time.