In many divorce cases, both the mother and father will seek primary physical custody of their children, and they cannot come to a mutually agreeable settlement out of court. So how does a court decide which parent will prevail? A Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can explain how a family court judge often awards physical custody based on the concept of the “primary caretaker.”
The “primary caretaker” generally means that by most family courts’ standards, preference is given to the parent who can prove that he or she assumed the greater role in taking care of the child during the marriage. Why is this so important in determining custody? Most courts are more interested in doing what is in the child’s best interest, rather than pleasing the parents, and according to psychologists, there is a very special bond between formed between a child and his or her primary caretaker. Because the establishment of this relationship is so important to a child’s emotional development, psychologists strongly recommend preserving it and allowing for the continuation of that primary caretaker – child bond. It is vital to the child’s emotional and psychological health.
If you find yourself in a position where you have to prove to a custody judge that you were the child’s primary caretaker, here are the responsibilities they generally focus on:
•Purchasing clothing and doing laundry;
•Planning and preparing meals;
•Bathing, grooming, and dressing;
•Teaching basic skill of reading, writing, and math and regularly helping with homework;
•Making health care arrangements and doctor’s appointments;
•Encouraging participation in extracurricular activities;
•Attending parent-teacher conferences and open houses;
•Planning leisure activities and vacations with the child
In many states, even things such as volunteerism at the child’s school are considered in determining primary caretaker status. If you are trying to establish yourself as the primary caretaker for your child, a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can review your case and prepare you for the presentation of evidence to a judge, keeping in mind the best interests of your child.