Child custody is one of the most complicated issue that needs to be settled after divorce. Of course, as a parent, you desire to have full custody of your children. However, it would be better if both parties could come up with fair and mutually agreeable child custody agreement. Here are some of the things to consider regarding child custody.
The Children’s Best Interest
You must keep in mind that kids need the parental love of their mothers and fathers. This is why joint custody is one of the most common arrangements between divorced parents nowadays. In this type of a custody agreement, the parents will split time with the kids 50/50. For example, the kids may spend time with you from Sundays to Wednesdays, while the remaining days of the week will be with your former partner. Holidays and school breaks are also considered.
On the other hand, there are situations where you should fight for sole custody. For example, if your former spouse is abusive or dealing with problems in alcohol and drug addiction, you must definitely fight for full custody. Whether to settle to for joint custody or fight for a sole custody, your decision must depend on what is best for your kids.
Find a Mediator
Divorce is a very painful experience. This is why coming up with a fair resolution with your former spouse is always difficult, since emotions can cloud your decisions. If you cannot settle, things on your own, neutral third party can resolve things peacefully. You may ask a divorce lawyer to act as mediator between you and your former partner. He can devise an agreement that both parties can agree. Having an excellent mediator can prevent trials and legal battles, which can cause emotional damages to your children.
Be flexible. Sometimes things that look good on the paper is not suitable for your family and changes may be necessary. However, before you do anything, make sure that you keep your lines of communication open. In this way, you can discuss things with your former spouse and make adjustments in the schedule whenever necessary. You must also talk with your kids and ask them whether the schedule is convenient for them.
Understand Your Rights
Make sure that you understand your rights. The custody agreement must clearly explain which parent (or both) has the legal say in the child’s upbringing. You must keep in mind that legal custody is different from physical custody. A parent who is granted legal custody has the right to decide about the kids’ religion, schooling, medical care, and other child rearing decisions. He/she has also the power to address how far his/her ex-partner should move in case of remarriage, job change, and other reasons. In case he/she needs to move farther away, he/she needs to use a mediator, go to court, or come up with an agreement together to settle things.
You will be able to you come up with a child custody agreement that suits best for your children by considering the things mentioned above. In case you need a mediator or settle things in court, a divorce lawyer will be a great help.
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