It’s no secret that cases involving children are among the most emotional and complex in family law. There are many different things parents need to think about when not living with the other parent or beginning a divorce, from how they’re going to split the family home, to how they can manage parenting and custody time.
One element which can become confusing in some cases is how the “residential custodial” parent is determined in a case when there is equal parenting time distributed between both parties. In the custody context, the residential parent would be the one that the child lives with most (residential custody being separate and independent from “legal custody” which refers to decision making authority for the child). Notably, in the family law world, to count as a day living with one parent or another is counted according to the place the child sleeps and then wakes up the following morning on a given occasion. In other words, it is measured by overnights with the child. If both parents receive the same number of overnights with the child, and the parents both look after the child in their own properties, it can be difficult to determine which is the “residential custodial” care provider. Although I have blogged about this topic before, it is worth looking at again, as shared residential custody seems to come up in more and more of my mediations, negotiated cases and even litigated matters. Continue reading ›