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Divorce Conversations: How to Come to an Agreement on Custody


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.

Consider 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 effective.

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!