Going through a
divorce is a difficult situation for any person, especially when it comes to deciding on a
child custody arrangement. It is likely that both parents want their kids to be with
them, and that can make for a few heated discussions when the time comes
to make the settlement. In order to have an effective, and reasonable,
divorce, communication is essential. While you may have had a hard time
with that during your marriage, it is very helpful when working though
the details of a divorce settlement, particularly for the children.
First off, if you are able, come to an agreement or commitment with your
spouse that no matter what happens, you plan to work through the custody
issues, without taking each other to court. BY making a commitment to
work together it is going to allow you to take a look at the situation
a little less biasedly, and consider the needs of both your ex and your
children. Ultimately, the custody arrangement is done for their good,
so keep that in mind. Even in the event that you do work it out with each
other, having an attorney present will also help you make sure that the
legal details are sorted through, as well as protect you from getting
taken advantage of.
divorce mediation as a means to accomplish this end. Mediation gives you and your spouse
a set time to work through the every details of the divorce settlement,
including division of property, debts, assets, and custody. It is important
to work through these details, and with a mediator, they will direct the
conversations and help you sort through things without taking a side.
A mediator is a third party individual, not either of your lawyers, and
their job is to lead you to a mutual settlement that appears fair on both
ends. Specifically with child custody, the mediator will urge you two
to come to a reasonable agreement, one that is good for the kids. Once
that is determined, they will help walk you through the steps of how that
will play out for each of you as parents.
Remember, despite the fact that you and your spouse are getting a divorce,
you are still the parents of the same children, and therefore it is your
responsibility to work together for their sakes. By keeping the focus
on the kids, and not yourselves, will help you to come to an agreement
that is reasonable. Before you make a set schedule for the custody, look
at your own kids schedule in comparison to yours. When do they have games,
practice, or recitals? Do they have specific health needs, allergies or
disorders? These things are important to consider when making arrangements.
Next, you will want to determine if one parent will have primary custody
meaning that one parent will have the kid for a majority of the time.
While some parents may switch off every other week, or every 3 days or
so; it is also common for one parent to have the week while the other
has the weekend. By cross checking your schedule with theirs will help
you to decide this. You will also want to determine if both parents will
have a say in the legal decisions of the children. Legal custody is different
than physical custody, while both parents may have time with the kids,
one parent might only have the legal right to make decisions.
Also, plan your holidays and vacation slots ahead of time. Figure out who
will have the kids and how long, not only so that you can plan, but also
so the kids know in advance what the plans are. Even days like birthdays
are important, perhaps come to an agreement that on birthdays both families
will come together to celebrate for the kids’ sake, even if there
are new blended families by that time. Many times the child custody arrangements
are hard on the kids no matter what, but studies show that if it is at
all possible, having both parents in the kids’ lives is the most
With all these details sorted through and the advisement of your attorney,
you will be on the way to a smoother divorce. When there is communication
it can really help the transition for both the parents and the children
and as a result can make for an easier future when you and your ex have
to interact again. Contact
Hutchinson Law today for a divorce and family attorney to discuss any of your legal concerns!