Shared parental responsibility is the legal phrase that sums up the roles of the ex-spouses. In effect, it says that both parents retain full rights to their children.
There is no longer "custody" and "visitation" in a technical sense (although the terms are still often used). The children live most of the time with the "primary residential parent" and have "contact" (rather than visitation) with the nonresidential parent.
Parents that are truly concerned should share equally in the major decisions about their children's lives: where they go to school, what doctor treats them, what religion they practice, and where they live.
According to the National Survey of children, close to half of all children have not seen their nonresidential parent in the past year, and only one in six had weekly contact or better.
Ten years after a marriage breaks up, nearly two-thirds of the children report not having seen their nonresidential parent for a year.
Children experiencing a divorce situation may go through a downward spiral:
* Separate residency diminishes contact
* Diminished contact reduces opportunities for routine sponsorship
* Diminished opportunities for sponsorship weaken the incentive for involvement
* Weakened incentive reduces a sense of binding obligation
The child may live with one parent; however the other parent has equal input in how the child is brought up.
A. Issues relating to education, health, religion, disciplines
B. Visitation issues. The courts generally try to strike a balance between the work schedule of the parents and the needs of the child. Goal: to foster a close and loving relationship with both parents.