Child Custody and Parenting Time
Child custody and parenting time issues are often the most important facets of a family law case. There are two distinct elements involving parenting. The first is legal custody. Legal custody is the authority to make decisions for the children regarding schooling, healthcare, religion and lifestyle. Legal custody may be joint or sole. Joint legal custody means “shared decision making”. It exists only if the parties agree to share joint legal custody. The Court cannot order joint legal custody over the objection of one parent. If the parents cannot agree on legal custody, the Court must designate one of the parents as the sole legal custodian of the children.
The second issue is parenting time. Parenting time is the schedule of contact that the children have with each parent. If the parties cannot agree on a parenting time schedule between themselves or through mediation, the Court is required to impose a schedule consistent with the children’s best interest.
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