CHAPTER 48. DOMESTIC RELATIONS.

§48-9-206. Allocation of custodial responsibility at final hearing.

(a) Unless otherwise resolved by agreement of the parents under §48-9-201 of this code or unless harmful to the child, the court shall allocate custodial responsibility so that, except to the extent required under §48-9-209 of this code, the custodial time the child spends with each parent shall be equal (50-50).

(b) The court shall apply the principles set forth in §48-9-403 of this code if one parent relocates or proposes to relocate at a distance that will impair the ability of a parent to exercise the amount of custodial responsibility that would otherwise be ordered under this section.

(c) The court may consider the allocation of custodial responsibility arising from temporary agreements made by the parties after separation if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such agreements were consensual.  The court shall afford those temporary consensual agreements the weight the court believes the agreements are entitled to receive, based upon the evidence.  The court may not consider the temporary allocation of custodial responsibility imposed by a court order on the parties unless both parties agreed to the allocation provided for in the temporary order.

(d) In the absence of an agreement of the parents, the court’s determination of allocation of custodial responsibility under this section shall be made pursuant to a final hearing, which shall be conducted by the presentation of evidence. The court’s order determining allocation of custodial responsibility shall be in writing, and include specific findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting the determination.