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FAQ - Legal Decision Making and Parenting Time (Custody)

What is reasonable parenting time?

Reasonable parenting time means, time spent with a child that is average for most cases.  Although the term has sometimes been used in parenting plans and even in court orders, parenting time decisions depend on the circumstances of each family, considering the age and development of the child.  When parenting time is described only as reasonable, it is difficult to predict when or for how long parenting time periods should occur.  When preparing an agreement or parenting plan, it is recommended that parents specifically decide when and for how long parenting time periods will be, including how to handle and allocate special occasions like vacations, school breaks, birthdays, and holidays so that both parents are considered.  Guidelines available in some counties and the model parenting time plans of the Supreme Court may be useful to parents in making these decisions.  The parenting time order should be written specifically enough to enable the court to enforce the order if the order is not followed and one parent files a request for enforcement.