Why does the court care how much time you have for your child?

When you're in court, trying to figure out a child custody arrangement, one thing you may be asked about often is your schedule. The court will be looking to see how much time you have to spend with your children, how much time you can dedicate to being a parent. Questions that you could be asked include:

- How long do you typically work?- Do you have to travel for work?- Is it the type of traveling where a child can come with?- If not, how long are these trips?- What other obligations do you have?

These are just a few examples, but you'll quickly see that they're just trying to find out how much time you can set aside to be with your child and how much time you spend living the rest of your life. Why is this so important?

The reasoning here is that many experts have found that parenting time is crucial to the development of the child. Children who have attentive parents who are involved in their lives tend to be more successful. They do better in school, for example, and they have higher self-esteem.

The court's goal is to find out what gives the child the best lifestyle. If you have plenty of time to spend with the child and your spouse does not, it can help your chances in a custody case because the court will see that you give the child a home life that increases his or her chances of finding success and happiness.

This doesn't mean you can't get custody if you lead a busy life, but it's important to know how the court in California looks at your schedule and how a ruling may be made.

Source: Times, "Yes, Your Time as a Parent Does Make a Difference," Justin Wolfers, accessed March 17, 2016

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