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Patrick L. Looper Patrick L. Looper
  • Serving All of Tennessee

Whose Parenting Time Is It When the Children Are in Daycare?


Tennessee parenting plans contain many details for parents to customize, such as which parent has the children on teacher planning days and which parent transports the children to or from the other parent’s house.  With school-age children, most parenting plans are quite similar to each other; one parent has the children on weekdays, while the other takes them every weekend or every other weekend.  With young children, parenting time arrangements vary more from one family to another, since babies and toddlers do not have a school schedule to follow.  Therefore, some parenting plans stipulate that the children are with Mom from Sunday evening until Thursday at noon, at which point Dad takes them until Sunday even, while others specify that Mom has the children from Monday through Sunday one week, while Dad has them from Monday through Sunday the next week.  Many young children go to daycare, though, so how does that affect parenting plans?  If you are trying to finalize or modify a parenting plan for young children, contact a Tennessee child custody lawyer.

Details of the Leonardo Case

Dominick and Ashli Leonardo divorced in early 2012, when their daughter was one year old.  Under their original parenting plan, Ashli had 256 days per year with the child, and Dominick had 109, the equivalent of Ashli being with the child on weekdays and Dominick being with her on weekends.  Dominick was responsible for transporting the child to and from her time with him.  Since both parents worked, the child went to daycare.  Because of the relative locations of the daycare, Ashli’s residence, and Dominick’s residence, Dominick requested to be able to pick the child up from daycare on days when his time with her was to begin, but Ashli refused, making the time it took Dominick to pick up the child exceed one hour because of traffic on the route to Ashli’s house.  Another problem was that Dominick wished to go to the daycare on days when the child participated in recitals, but Ashli would keep her out of daycare on those days without notifying Dominick.

Things got worse when Ashli and her fiancé moved to a house that was even harder for Dominick to access.  She also moved the child to a new daycare that was closer to her new home and farther from Dominick’s home.  Although she had been planning the move for several months, she did not notify until three weeks before the move.  Dominick requested to modify the parenting plan so that each parent would have 182.5 days per year with the child, with the parents alternating weeks of parenting time.  The court agreed to the new parenting plan.  Ashli appealed the new parenting plan, but the court rejected her appeal, since the child had a strong bond with Dominick and there was no benefit to reducing his parenting time.

Contact an Attorney for Help Today

Equal parenting time is a feasible option for many divorced couples with small children, even if the children go to daycare.  Contact Knoxville child custody lawyer Patrick L. Looper for a consultation.


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