“Visitation” is no longer an acceptable term since it applies that one is “visiting” with a child. The Courts prefer to use the term “parenting” at this time. Parenting time can be restricted or supervised in some extreme cases. Generally, each court will have a local rule setting forth parenting time which is a “minimum” or “standard” parenting time. Parenting time can be agreed to by the parents or ordered by the court
Courts are guided by statutes and court decisions. The factors a court will considered when making decisions about parenting time and parenting obligations will include:
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Shared parenting is an arrangement which is much like the arrangement the parties may have had before the marital termination began. Shared parenting plans vary widely in their assignments of time and responsibilities each parent may have with the child(ren). Shared parenting plans should provide that each parent will encourage the child(ren) to love and respect the other parent and shared parenting plans may provide that the parents shall share in the decision-making process in regard to the child(ren).
One thing that should be stated is that when parties have a shared parenting situation this does NOT mean that no child support will be payable. Even when the parents spend equal amounts of time with the children this does not mean that there will be no support.
In Shared Parenting both parents should be designated as the “residential” parents of the child(ren) and as the “legal custodian” of the child. Because of schools being concerned with the “residence address” of the children attending schools, a shared parenting plan will designate one or both of the parents as the parent(s) whose residence will be used for “school placement purposes.”
Essentially, Child Support is calculated using statutory guidelines set forth by law. The basic information going into calculations using the guidelines includes information about each party’s earnings, each party’s local taxes, and whether any other child support to or spousal support (alimony) is being paid. The calculations also consider work related or education related child care as well as the costs of provision of health insurance for the child(ren).