In April 2018, Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum announced that they would be splitting up almost 9 years of marriage. Six months later, Dewan formally filed for divorce. In the initial divorce petition, Dewan requested that the parents share physical and legal custody of their 5 years old daughter, Everly. In his response to the divorce filing, Tatum also requested joint custody.
While both parents have indicated that they’d prefer a joint custody arrangement, no formal terms have been agreed upon. Earlier this month, Tatum submitted a formal custody plan to a Los Angeles Court for approval.
Finding a Way to Co-Parent Amicably
When parents get divorced, it can be hard to put personal feelings aside and do what’s best for the children. Details from Tatum’s proposed custody plan seem to indicate that he is prepared to co-parent amicably and put his daughter first. Under the proposed plan, both he and Dewan would have nearly identical timeshare custody percentages.
Timeshare custody percentage is simply the amount of time each parent gets to spend with their child. Timeshare is particularly relevant when making child support calculations. The less time a parent spends with their child, the more in child support they’ll generally be required to pay. Of course, other factors, including income and ability to pay, are also taken into consideration.
Tatum’s custody plan suggests:
- Split custody during the week (Monday – Thursday)
- Alternating custody on the weekends (Friday – Sunday)
- Two dedicated weeks of custody during the daughter’s summer break
- Equal time with the daughter on her birthday, unless a joint celebration can be arranged, and
- Splitting holidays evenly (e.g., Christmas Eve/Christmas; New Year’s Eve; New Year’s Day).
Under the arrangement, both Dewan and Tatum would have the right to spend nearly equal amounts of time with their growing daughter.
Doing What’s Best for the Child
Why would Tatum submit a child custody plan to the court for approval before the couple has had a chance to resolve the terms of their divorce? Tatum explained that he wanted to do what was in his daughter’s best interest. In this situation, he explained that providing structure and allowing her to get used to a routine was the best thing to do. Under his proposed custody plan, his daughter would know exactly when she would be spending time with each parent.
Discussing Travel and Parental Consent
When parents get divorced, it’s common for courts to restrict their ability to travel with their children. Many times, one parent cannot leave the state with a child unless the other parent consents. In his custody request, Tatum asked a court to waive this requirement. He would prefer that he or Dewan be able to travel nationally with their child without first seeking the other’s consent. This request indicates that Tatum and Dewan have a mutual trust for one another and want to limit restrictions on their ability to parent. Allowing unrestricted national travel would allow each parent to work and visit family across the country.
Tatum did, however, ask to impose a consent requirement for international travel. Leaving the country has much bigger implications that should be discussed by both parents.
Children tend to do the best after a divorce when parents can set their differences aside and work out a custody plan that puts the child’s needs first. Consulting with an attorney can help you to understand your rights and options. Do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles family law attorneys for help with your child custody plan.