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What is a Primary Caretaker?

What is a Primary Caretaker?

Every child needs a happy, stable household. When a marriage is failing, it is often in the best interests of both the parents and the children for the parents to divorce. From the beginning, finding an appropriate custody arrangement and planning your divorce with a level head can reduce the stress on everyone involved. In determining the right custody arrangement, the court often tries to determine who the child’s primary caretaker is.

The “primary caretaker,” put simply, is the person who takes the most active role in the child’s upbringing. Standards for determining the primary caretaker vary from state to state, but the factors considered commonly include things like who bathes and grooms the child, who cooks the food, who provides healthcare, etc. In certain jurisdictions, factors like the parents’ health and financial stability might be considered.

Historically these standards were basically designed to keep children with their mothers, except in exceptional circumstances. Since then, however, women have taken a more active role in the workplace, and men have taken on more caretaking duties. There is an increasing number of cases where a husband does the majority of cooking and cleaning.

Once the primary caretaker has been determined, the next question is what type of custody arrangement to create. This varies from case to case: sometimes the kids divide their time equally between two households, sometimes there are visitation arrangements, and sometimes the children live with only one parent.

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If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, it is in the best interests of your children-and both of you-to work with an experienced child custody lawyer. The Oceanside child custody lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP will use our decades of experience to help you and your spouse create a plan that takes all of these factors into consideration. To get started, contact Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP today at (760) 621-7101.