Choosing a primary caregiver in child care is one of the most important decisions that can be made. The individual charged with raising a kid can have a positive or negative influence that can alter a child's destiny for decades to come. Children are a gift from God, and as such, require the best possible nurture and supervision. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5)." In a divorce or separation, one parent may be charged with the responsibility to attend to a minor's every day needs; but a lifelong commitment from both parents is warranted if the child is to thrive.
In child custody cases, the court's ultimate concern is to choose a custodial parent who is able to physically care for a minor; emotionally and mentally stable enough to provide proper guidance and oversight; and financially capable of meeting the minor's needs, of course with the aid of a non-custodial parent if necessary. Mothers and fathers who become the primary caregiver in child care should possess sufficient physical fitness and mobility to bathe, feed, and dress dependent children. Parents with physical disabilities should be able to not only attend to themselves but also the children, which can present certain challenges. A physically-challenged individual who requires assistance with bathing, dressing and feeding themselves will not be able to render the same attention to minors; thus the courts may decide on an alternative caregiver. Single mothers who are awarded custody but have certain handicaps may be asked to engage the services of live-in nannies or babysitters to help meet the physical needs of small children. But, the courts do not discount the ability of handicapped mothers to provide the nurturing and emotional stability kids need.
Foremost considerations for a primary caregiver in child care include the ability to provide a nurturing environment where youngsters can feel love and emotional support. When married couples divorce, children may require greater attention and affection to make the transition from a happy home to a house divided. Making emotional adjustments is difficult enough for former mates; but to a child, their whole world may seem to have crumbled. An attentive, loving, and affection primary caregiver in child care can ease the emotional upheaval of separating from a non-custodial parent, changing schools, or dealing with life-changing events. During the aftermath of divorce, custodial parents must remain vigilant to notice for signs of distress in under aged and teenaged children. Skipping school, complaints of imaginary or unexplained illnesses, emotional outbursts, or changes in eating or toilet habits all may signal distress. Providing affection and attention is crucial to help children overcome the trauma of separation and divorce.
Children in distress after divorce will need more attention than those in a two-parent home. Custodial and non-custodial parents must collaborate and cooperate for the benefit of the kids. A primary caregiver in child care may consider taking extended leave or using vacation time to reconnect with children in crisis. Staying close by and listening for opportunities to offer a reassuring word, a comforting hug, or just a listening ear will be crucial to help kids adjust to the breakup of a marriage. Sending a kid away to boarding school, summer camp, or to the grandparents' home for week or two should be cautiously considered. Younger children can easily misinterpret being sent away as a sign of abandonment. Parents should also watch for behavior patterns in teens that might be a result of a family breakup. Drug use, outbursts of anger, or truancy may be evidence of distress. Keeping the kids close could be the best solution to overcoming domestic trauma.
A conscientious primary caregiver in child care cannot afford an emotional breakdown when the well being of minor or adolescent children is at stake. While some divorcees require mental health counseling, efforts should be taken to provide children with as much normalcy as possible. The primary caregiver in child care must avoid sharing personal issues with the kids, blaming the non-custodial parent for the breakup, openly showing distress, or becoming depressed and withdrawn. It is unfair for parents to become dependent on older children to act as adults in a marital breakup. No matter what age, a child is not responsible to become a surrogate husband or wife, a marriage counselor, or a leaning post. Custodial parents who are unprepared to deal with the emotional aspects of divorce should seek psychological counseling to avoid embroiling a minor or adolescent in adult issues.
Lastly, the courts will select a primary caregiver in child care based on an ability to provide a safe, clean, healthy environment. Sometimes, single mothers may lack sufficient financial support to offer adequate housing. Children may have to live in smaller quarters or do without the luxuries afforded them when their parents were married. But, that is where child support plays an important part. Non-custodial parents should ensure that court-ordered payments are timely because the custodian depends on those funds to provide adequate housing, food, clothing, medical care and education for minor children and teens. While some believe that it takes a village to raise a child, one thing is certain: it takes a mother and a father working together to ensure that children are properly cared for. Regardless of the parents' inability to coexist, youngsters need not suffer the lack of life's basic needs and wants. A primary caregiver will want to exercise every legal right to ensure that the non-custodial parent is compliant with meeting court-ordered scheduled payments for the benefit of the children.
Primary Caregiver RightsPrimary 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.