Child time sharing is often a sticky issue when it comes to divorce proceedings. Who gets the child, when, and for how long? How will time be split for family gatherings, vacations, and holidays? After all, one can’t argue that having access to both parents is a benefit to a child. But how can you split time in a way that’s beneficial to both the parents and most of all the child in question?
The first thing to consider is the child’s wants, if they’re old enough to have them. Although there is no age where the child gets the final say, generally judges start to give considerable weight by the time the child hits 14 or so. It may hurt to hear your child say they want to live with the other parent primarily, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Staying with the other parent may afford them closer access to school and friends, or may just be a more suitable living arrangement in the child’s eyes.
Of course, if you have reason to believe that such an arrangement may not be beneficial to your child, you can always speak up in front of a judge with the aid of your lawyer and give reasons as to why your child should primarily live with you. Just because the child lives with you, though, doesn’t mean you can sever or impede visitation rights with the other parent–family courts take attempts to do this into account, so you should always try to work amicably with the other party.
When it comes to visitation, holidays, and vacations, a family lawyer can help you draw out a plan that both of you can agree on as to who gets to see the child, and when. The more amicably the parties work together, the more successful the outcome is likely to be, so try your best to put your feelings aside and work together for the sake of the child.
Of course, sometimes these matters need to be contested in court. If one parent is impeding the other’s visitation rights, or has reason to think the custody arrangement needs to change, the case may need to be seen in family court. If this happens, it’s always useful to have a family law attorney in your court. It can save a lot of headache in the meantime.
If you are going through a divorce and need to talk to someone about child time sharing, contact us today.