In most cases, the children will likely spend time with each parent. Arrangements regarding when and how the children will spend time with each parent are referred to as “parenting time." Under some circumstances, parenting time may need to be supervised. Even pedophiles and abusers can be awarded parenting time but the Court places safeguards to protect the children in these instances. Where even these safeguards would not be adequate to protect the children, severance of parental rights should be considered. Typically, the courts like to keep the status quo or move the parents towards a more “normal" schedule that approximates one of the model parenting plan schedules. The amount of parenting time that the children will spend with either parent is often decided by the parents. You and the other parent have the best information when it comes to your relationships with the children, you are aware of each other’s different abilities and shortcomings, schedules and other matters. Indeed, many, if not most, parents can come to an agreement on how to divide the time with the children. In situations when the parents cannot agree, the Court will look for outside professionals to help make that determination. When parents cannot agree on a parenting schedule, there are a few options the Court will consider: - Professional custody evaluation - Parenting conference - The Model Parenting Plan - Testimony (Mother, Father, and other sources)
KEEP IN MIND, HOWEVER, THAT IF YOU AND THE OTHER PARENT CANNOT AGREE ON THE PARENTING TIME, YOU ARE BOTH LETTING A STRANGER DECIDE FOR YOU.