Child Custody Evaluation – How Does Your Income Affect the Visitation Schedule?


Once a parent gets involved in a child custody case it is very easy to begin to question everything about their life and how it will factor in to the final decision of the visitation schedule. This is especially true if the parents are in conflict about the time sharing arrangement. In these cases it is all too common for one parent to threaten the other parent with not letting them have custody or visitation with the child because they don’t measure up in a number of ways. But is there any validity to that argument if one parent makes more than the other or if one parent is a stay at home parent?

In the perfect world parents will work out an arrangement between themselves about the best timeshare or visitation schedule for the children. But in the rest of the world that decision can be made by using the court system. It isn’t uncommon for parents in conflict to threaten the other parent with taking away their child because they don’t make enough money to support the child. This is a frightening threat because the reality is that the accused parent knows the truth is that they do not earn as much as the other parent and they don’t know what the court rules are. It does stand to reason that if one parent can provide more than another parent that they may have a distinct advantage in the living arrangements.

But the fact is that income is not allowed to be brought into the discussion when Evaluators are making their recommendation. If income is mentioned in the final report it is grounds to have the report thrown out and start with another evaluator. Gaps in income can be mitigated through child support payments.

The much bigger factor would be the parents ability to provide a suitable living environment for the child. If a parent had no means to support themselves and no place to live (despite child support and alimony payments) then the visitation schedule would reflect that, but it would be based on income even though it would be a consequence of not having any money.

Even the threat that a stay at home parent who doesn’t work should have to go to work is not a big threat. If one parent demands another go to work, they could end up with that parent working minimum wage and then paying half of their daycare.

So don’t spend too much time worrying about how income factors into the visitation schedule. Spend your time doing activities with your child that will build bonds and create a great basis for you to have more visitation.