Today I want to talk about whether a parent who is not seeing or spending time with his or her child or children stands a chance of getting joint custody or parenting time.
Can this result in one parent getting sole custody of the child?
Will it result in a restriction of parenting time allowed for one parent?
Whatever State you are in you should research your child custody statutes. And in those child custody laws there is going to be a list of factors that the court is going to consider in making a decision about custody and or parenting time.
Again, this list is commonly referred to as ‘The Best Interest of the Child Factors” And not ONE factor controls, in other words the judge usually looks at the Interplay between a bunch of different factors. Not one factor is going to outweigh all of the other factors.
So the fact that a parent is not spending time with the child is not the only thing the judge is going to look at regarding whether the parents will get equal decision making or equal parenting time with the child.
Now another thing I pose to you is you really have to look at the reason the parent is not spending time with the child or that there is no communication with the child. Some examples for instance:
Is the other parent is getting in the way and impeding that relationship or refusing visitation?
Are there indications of parental alienation by one of the parents?
If that is the case then I think that is not a very good thing for the parent who is getting in the way of the relationship and essentially preventing the other parent from spending time with his or her child or children.
At least in Arizona child custody laws one of our best interest factors is Which parent is more likely to promote a frequent, meaningful and continuous relationship with the other parent. If one of the parents is not doing that then I would say that is a strike against that parent.
Now not all states may list that as a best interest factor in their custody laws and statutes, it is still something you can and should bring up to the judge during your custody hearing.
You can tell the judge, yes judge I have not been seeing my child because he or she, the other parent hasn’t been letting me.
The second thing to consider is if the other parent is letting you see your child or children and you already have been awarded parenting time but you are NOT seeing the child then why not? You should be exercising all the parenting time that you allowed to see with your child that is possible. If you are exercising less than the court has ordered then I would say that will be a problem for you.