What is Parenting Time?
Learn More from Johnson Márquez Legal Group
Time with our kids is just about the most important thing to parents. We
want to be there to watch them grow up and to help them develop a sense
of shared values and tradition. This is why splitting up parenting time
can be the most difficult part of any divorce. Respecting each other as
parents is a sound basis for developing excellent, child-focused parenting plans.
Parenting time is used for multiple reasons, such as:
- Allowing a parent to build a bond with a child
- Building parental status
- Participating in a child's activities
- Helping a child learn and grow
Custody or parenting time?
Colorado courts don't use the term "custody" when it comes
to kids. Custody is an old concept which the law has pulled apart into
two distinct types of parental responsibility - parenting time and decision-making.
If you break down the phrase "parenting time," you'll find
out that it makes perfect sense. This is your time to act as a parent.
The phrase carries responsibility. You must "parent" during
this time - homework, discipline, discuss issues, read with the kids,
etc. The phrase is as much about your responsibilities as it is about
time with your children.
How much parenting time you get, and when you exercise it, is decided by
the court in the best interests of the child. The court views your parenting
time from the child's perspective. If time with you is good for the
child then you'll get it - if not, you won't.
Of course, time with a parent is critical for a child. It's why most
court's move toward the parents sharing parenting time equally, or
"50/50″ division of parenting time, if both parents can and
want to spend that much time with their kids. As with all things in a
divorce proceeding, though, there are countless reasons a court might
vary from an equal split.
Johnson Márquez Legal Group can help you understand parenting time regulations.
Call (800) 360-5608 to
speak with our attorneys.
What about my rights?
Many good parents come into our office talking about their "rights"
to the kids - their rights to time, their rights to make decisions, etc.
And it wasn't so long ago that the law and courts looked at parenting
time issues from the same perspective. Those days, however, have ended.
The sole standard for deciding parenting time and decision-making issues
is what's in the best interests of the child.
It is the child's perspective that counts for the courts. Looking at
things from the perspective of the child, what is in their best interest?
Is time with mom on weekends good for the kids? Is it in their best interests?
With all of the activities this child is involved in, should we be breaking
up their time this way? The parenting time analysis centers around how
a schedules works for kids, not adults.
While parenting time is always filled with fun activities and maybe even
just hanging out, it is first and foremost a responsibility. Courts often
have concerns about whether homework is getting done and whether the kids
are getting to all of their activities. As a parent, it's your job
to be sure these important things are getting done.
Child-Focused Plans - Call Our Denver Divorce Attorneys Today
The term "child focused" arises from the legal standard, "
best interests of the child," but is specifically directed at the development of a successful
parenting plan. Child focused means your parenting plan is primarily focused
on the needs and activities of your children and is highly customized
to meet these needs. For example, a parenting plan is child focused if
it takes into account the fact that your daughter has soccer practice
on Tuesdays, games Saturday, and spelling tests on Friday mornings. A
child focused parenting plan asks, "what is the best schedule to
support her in these activities?"
Child focused plans also address developmental needs. For example, parenting
plans for very young kids will probably look very different than plans
for teenagers. Identifying the developmental needs for your children early
on will help guide the development of a child-focused parenting plan.
Producing a truly child-focused parenting plan is difficult. It really
requires dedication of the parents to set aside their disputes and honestly
look at the needs of the children. It's work. But it will make all
the difference in the development of your kids if you do it right - and,
if you do it together.
Want to discuss parenting time issues?
confidential, free case evaluation today.