How Friendly Parent Factors Affect Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

Posted on May 21, 2010 by Hofheimer Family Law

When awarding a parent sole custody of a child, the court uses a specific set of criteria. Among these criteria are the vitally important “friendly parent” factors. These have to do with each parent’s willingness to maintain a functional relationship with the other for the sake of the child; in other words, how friendly they are.

What are “Friendly Parent” Factors?

Basically, the court must decide which parent is more likely to interact with the other in such a way that promotes the best interests of the child. This is considered to be one of the most important factors by many judges.

Women accidentally fall on the wrong side of friendly parent factors for a number of reasons. For instance, a mother may have taken on the “chores” of caring for her child. Such chores could include taking the child to the dentist or doctor, going to school functions, etc. However, when this is examined from a post-marital standpoint, it may seem like she was excluding her husband from activities with his child.

Friendly Parent Traps

The court takes into account whether or not one parent has unreasonably denied the other access to their child. Your husband may set you up to “unreasonably” deny him. He could ask for an extra visitation day or deliberately set up your visitation days at your most inconvenient time. If you comply, the demands could escalate. If you do not comply, that could be used as evidence to make you the “unfriendly” parent.

Your Virginia divorce attorney can talk to you about the specific circumstances involved in your divorce and custody hearings along with advice on avoiding friendly parent traps.

At Hofheimer Family Law Firm, we understand that the health and happiness of your children is your #1 concern. We will work with you to address any fears and anxieties you may have about your children’s future. Our women’s-only divorce attorneys will guide you every step of the way to ensure that you achieve the best possible child custody and child support arrangements for you and your children.

To learn more about your Virginia divorce, request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.