Determining the Primary Caretaker
If there is an issue regarding which parent was the primary caretaker, there are a number of different parenting functions to examine:
1. Preparing, planning and cleaning up after meals.
2. Bathing, grooming and dressing.
3. Purchasing, cleaning and care of clothes.
4. Picking up after, making beds, cleaning house.
5. Medical care, including nursing and trips to the physician.
6. Arranging for social interaction among peers after school & otherwise.
7. Arranging alternative care, such as babysitting and day care.
8. Putting the children to bed at night, attending the children in the middle of the night, waking the children in the morning.
9. Attending to the children & their needs at family & other social functions.
10. Disciplining, including teaching of manners and toilet training.
11. Educating, including religion, cultural, and social education.
12. Teaching elementary skill, such as reading, writing, and arithmetic.
13. Participating in the children's physical activities, coaching, leading groups, teaching sportsmanship.
14. Safety issues - poisons, car seats, guns, strangers.
15. Making and keeping a record of the children: Photographs, video recordings, baby books, education records, medical records, vaccination records.
Conversely, if there is an issue regarding a failure to act as nurturing parent, the following should be examined:
1. Willful abandonment that continues for an extended period of time or substantial refusal to perform parenting functions (this applies only to parents, not to a person residing with a parent).
2. Physical, sexual or a pattern of emotional abuse of any child.
3. A history of acts of domestic violence or an assault or sexual assault which causes grievous bodily harm or the fear of such harm.
4. Neglect or substantial nonperformance of parenting functions.
5. A long-term emotional or physical impairment which interferes with the performance of parenting functions.
6. A long-term impairment resulting from drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse that interferes with the performance of parenting functions.
7. The absence or substantial impairment of emotional ties between the parent and a child.
8. The abusive use of conflict by the parent which creates the danger of serious damage to the child's psychological development.
9. A parent has withheld from the other parent access to any child for a protracted period without good cause.