TOOL OF THE DAY: Frequency vs. Duration of Parent-Child Contact

CATEGORY: Family Law

Many statutes say that the goal is to protect the relationship between the parent and the child in divorce. I know that’s the public policy here in Texas. In fact the statute reads:

“The public policy of this state is to:

(1) assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;”

and most divorce decrees contain that language in it.

Unfortunately the judges have been left to their own interpretation of what “frequent and continuing contact” will be. This is addressed through what they determine is the “best interest of the child.”

Recently, we found an excerpt in a book to further the argument that the most protective way to facilitate the best interest of a child is to ensure that the duration that each parents have the child is also protected. It is well known and well settled that the more time you spend with a person, the more you will influence them.

For example, the more time that a child spends with their friends the more they become influenced by them and in fact there are studies that show that they will make worse decisions when they are around their friends frequently if those friends influence them towards bad decision making.

So if a child spends more time with gang members, these people have greater influence over the child.

So “The more time parents spend with their children, the more likely the parents will be able to influence them. If parental duration is lacking, the children tend to spend more time with their friends, including, in extreme cases, gang members.”*

When a court selects one parent over the other, and perhaps one of the parents is inclined to brainwash and turn the child against the other, and they are given more duration of time. For example a custodial parent has a child in their possession in some cases the majority of the time, if they wish to negatively influence the child they can do this very easily.

So might it be safe to say that the courts select one parent over the other because perhaps they wish for that parent to be the major influence over the child? If the judges are selecting the parent that they favor over the other, and their biases are being encouraged. Naturally they are being biased over who they feel is the more ideal parent. Therefore, they are intentionally ensuring that the other, noncustodial parent, does not have much influence over those children.

This would appear to go against the intent of the public policy to keep children’s relationships with each parent healthy and strong.

Sherry Palmer

Strategic Parental Rights Strategist, Instructor, Constitutional Scholar, and Author

Divorce Solutions and Child Custody Solutions

Co-author “Not in the Child’s Best Interest” (Book on parental rights and children’s rights)

Co-author “Protecting Parent-Child Bonds: 28th Amendment” (Book includes guide for legislators)


Twitter: (@fixfamilycourts)




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*The Like Switch – p.7 – Jack Schafer, Ph.D., with Marvin Karlins, Ph.D. 2015