The modern term for spending time with one’s child or children is referred to as parenting time. The terms “custody” and “visitation” are considered outdated terminology. The theory is neither parent is visiting with their child or children. Each time when a parent spends time with his or her children, they are involved in parenting time with their children.
When the courts have to make decisions as to who will be the residential custodial parent of the children, they take into consideration how their decision will impact on the children’s lives and the children’s daily circumstances. In cases where mothers receive sole custody of their children, or the parties have joint custody but the mother is the residential custodial parent, it is the mother’s obligation to help promote the relationship of the children and their father. Mothers, even if they have a negative feeling about the children’s father, must be cooperative with regard to helping the father maintain his relationship with the children. Courts look very unfavorably upon mothers whose behavior restricts the father’s access to the parties’ children. This can also be a basis for the father bringing a proceeding to change custody from the uncooperative mother to himself.
Mothers no longer always receive custody of their children in court proceedings. Mothers should be careful when seeking to become the residential custodial parent of their children to be cooperative with the father and not to negatively impact on his rights to have parenting time with the children. Mothers must put the children’s best interests over and above her animosity towards the father. The best way for mothers to prepare for custody battles is to retain an experienced attorney who has had a successful record in obtaining mother’s custody of their children.