Primary Caregiver Rights are recognizable in a court of law when acknowledging them is in the best interest of the children. A primary caregiver is the parent who has been the one to take care of the children, sees to their needs, who makes sure they are warm and safe. They are there to make sure the kids get off to school on time and are tucked into bed when its time to go to sleep. The parent who takes care of the children most of the time is the parent that the court usually considers to be the most important person in their lives. Primary caregiver rights are given by the court in so much that this parent is usually given custody of the children, at least until the divorce is final and the determination proves otherwise. "But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter" (2 Samuel 12:3).
The court must decide that the well-being of the children lies with the parent who takes care of their needs day after day. In retrospect if the kids have been abused or neglected by the parent who cares for them the most then there may be a different determination by the court other than giving that person primary caregiver rights. However, if the parent who takes care of the kids most of the time is responsible and does a good job at parenting then he or she will mostly be given primary caregiver rights. This takes into consideration who takes the kids to the doctor when necessary, who makes sure the kids get an education, and who is always there for the kids whenever needed. The minors do not need to be taken away from the person who has been their support. This will help to lessen the trauma experienced during the separation and divorce.
The determination of primary caregiver rights may be more difficult if both parents share in the responsibility of taking care of the kids equally. However, even when this happens there is usually one parent who does more than the other depending upon the demands of outside employment. Oftentimes the mother will only work part-time and therefore is home with the kids more than the father or vice versa. These days it is not unusual for the dad to be home with the kids more and have more caregiver responsibilities. Couples who share in this role will probably want to consider joint custody during the separation and after the divorce. The children's lives will be less disrupted this way which is important because of the psychological effects divorce can have on them.
When one parent leaves the home and the kids then he or she will have difficulty in obtaining primary caregiver rights. Whoever has the minors will want to file for temporary custody immediately at the time separation occurs. The court will probably not look favorably on an adult who has abandoned minors. Even when there are extenuating circumstances this will not turn out well. If a partner leaves and uses the excuse that the behavior of the other partner was too bad to stay then the court will want to know how he or she could leave minors in the care of someone who was exhibiting bad behavior. The best thing to do is to stay together and work out living in separate areas of the home until the court can decide what is best for the children.
When custody is awarded to the primary caregiver there may be spousal support and temporary child support set as well. This depends on the individual circumstances of each case. If the mother has never worked and does not have the ability to find employment then the father will have to provide support until she can support herself. In addition, he will need to pay support for the minors so they can be taken care of. Primary caregiver rights are dependent upon the laws of the state the couple resides in. This will work the same whether it is the mother or father who needs support. In today's world roles are often reversed so the common rule of the mother having custody of the children over the father is not always the case especially if the father takes care of the minors more than the mother does.
Other considerations that have to be determined involve the debts. If one partner has income and the other does not then the partner who does will have to continue paying the debts until this situation changes. The court will want to leave the minors in the home that they are used to living in so they can continue going to the same schools, and so on. With this in mind the partner with income coming in will have to continue paying the home mortgage and all the utility bills. This will also include other debts so as car notes, loan payments, and credit card bills. However, if both partners have income coming in then the debts will be split between them. The partner who has primary caregiver rights will be giving greater consideration because the care of the children will be paramount above all else.