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This 20 part series tracks what Judges are required to consider when making child custody and parenting plan determinations to help parents focus on what is relevant to the Judge to effectively present their divorce, paternity or modification case.

Child Custody Factor #12. The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime. 

Children are not born knowing everything and need to be guided to be productive members of society. As part of this guidance, children need proper consistency for a healthy productive life. Children should have a bedtime or they will not be able to properly benefit from the education being provided to them at school. Parents should be responsible for ensuring that their children complete their homework each night. Children should have not only have an overall healthy diet, but should have regular times for meals so that they are well fueled for an active life. Children should know what is expected from them and the consequences of their actions, which can include being disciplined.

Creating a journal can assist you with presenting evidence in a child custody case. The journal can track matters such as a child’s lack of sleep causing disruption in his or her ability to learn the next day or how the child excelled in a book report at school the day after a parent helped him or her understand new words in a book.

Separation and divorce is not only difficult for adults, but often confusing and even frightening to children. A regular routine helps kids stay of track and helps reduce anxiety.

To learn more, see Parts 1 to 11 for other factors that Judges consider in divorce and paternity cases when making child custody determinations.