Taking a Qualitative Approach to Divorce Parenting

 Posted on March 07, 2018 in Children of Divorce

Taking a Qualitative Approach to Divorce ParentingFiguring out child-related issues during a divorce often requires crunching the numbers. Parents must determine:

  • How many hours the children will spend with each parent during the week;
  • How to divide holidays and special occasions with the children;
  • What their total child-related expenses are; and
  • What percentage of child support each parent is responsible for.

Divorcing parents often come up with the best solutions to these issues by considering the emotional aspects of parenting. Being a good parent takes more than spending time and money. The quality of the parental relationship is just as important towards a child’s emotional development.

Parenting Time

A parenting agreement is quantitative in that it sets a schedule that divides parenting time. However, there is no formula to determine which parenting time ratio works best or which days each parent should have the children. When proposing a parenting schedule, each parent must consider:

  • Which days he or she will best be able to spend quality time with the children;
  • The importance of the children being able to have a relationship with each parent; and
  • How convenient the exchanges are for the children.

Parents and children get the most out of parenting time when they can have meaningful interaction with each other. Receiving a greater percentage of parenting time loses its value if the parent or the children are unavailable for a significant portion of that time.

Child Support

Determining child support does follow a formula that is based on the number of children, the parents’ combined incomes and which parent’s income makes up a larger percentage. The parents may dispute each others’ actual incomes and whether they can afford their child support obligations. To save money, divorced parents may reconsider paying for some of their non-vital, child-related expenses, such as:

  • Extracurricular activities;
  • Expensive hobbies; and
  • Family recreational activities.

However, expenses that are not part of a child’s basic needs can still be important towards his or her emotional development. Shared hobbies and fun outings can be an optimal time for a parent and child to bond. Before eliminating a child-related expense, parents should consider how the expense contributes to the child’s quality of life and relationship with his or her parents.

Quality and Quantity

Children of separated parents are emotionally vulnerable and in need of parental guidance. Parents must invest time and money towards their parenting but also make sure that they are being effective in their parenting. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a parenting agreement that best serves your children and yourself. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.



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