In a child custody dispute, the primary caretaker is the parent or caregiver who handles the majority of the daily care tasks associated with raising the child. Children tend to develop a strong bond with their primary caretaker, which is why the courts consider it a major factor when determining custody and visitation arrangements.
In fact, the emotional connection between a child and his or her primary caretaker is so strong that psychologists encourage the courts not to break it when awarding custody. Maintaining this bond is crucial to a child’s wellbeing and overall stability since children ultimately thrive on routine. The courts can minimize the impact of divorce by ensuring the primary caregiver continues fostering a strong relationship with the child.
If you are going through a custody battle and you are concerned about how the court will classify you as a care giver, turn to The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Mr. Raheb is a child custody lawyer who can help you avoid making key mistakes that could compromise your interests during the custody proceedings. Call 866-949-0888 to schedule an initial consultation with a Naples child custody attorney today, and read on to learn more about what makes a primary caretaker in the eyes of the law:
What Is a Primary Caretaker?
Because the bond between the primary caretaker and the child is so strong, the courts tend to allow a preference for the primary caretaker during custody proceedings. For the purposes of child custody, a family judge will ultimately look at how the parents divide the caretaking responsibilities, which might include:
- Dressing, bathing, and grooming;
- Meal preparation and feeding;
- Providing clothing and doing laundry;
- Making healthcare arrangements;
- Taking part in extracurricular activities;
- Helping with homework;
- Attending school functions; and
- Enjoying recreational activities together.
What If Parents Share the Caretaking Tasks?
In some families, it is obvious who the primary caretaker is, but in other families, both parents may share the caretaking tasks equally. According to the Pew Research Center, in roughly 60 percent of families who have young children at home, both parents work and thus share the child rearing responsibilities. If that is the case in your family, the judge will not allow a preference for either parent based on the caretaking criteria and will simply consider the best interests of any children involved.
Are Mothers Always Considered the Primary Caretaker?
According to the United States Census Bureau, only one out of every six custodial parents is the father; however, that does not necessarily mean that the court always considers the mother to be the primary caretaker. In some cases, a family judge may simply determine that making the mother the custodial parent is in the best interests of the children.
If you are going through a custody battle, turn to a child custody attorney from The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. Call 866-949-0888 to schedule an initial consultation with a Naples child custody lawyer. You can learn more about child custody in Florida by visiting USAttorneys.com.