There are a few things you should keep in mind when drafting a fair custody arrangement. Here’s a complete guide to help you through the process.
It’s incredible that there were about 630,000 divorces in America in 2020! So you’re definitely not alone right now if you’re thinking of getting a divorce.
One aspect of divorce that many people have to set up is a custody arrangement. Creating a fair custody arrangement that works for both parents and their children is essential to ensure a smooth transition into post-divorce life.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a fair custody arrangement that meets everyone’s needs. Let’s get to it!
Understanding Custody Arrangements
Before you begin creating a custody agreement, it’s important to understand the different types of custody arrangements that exist. The two main types of custody are legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions for the child. These include making decisions regarding their education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to where the child will live and who will be responsible for their day-to-day care.
You can also categorize custody arrangements as sole custody, joint custody, or split custody. In sole custody, one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child. Joint custody means that both parents share legal and/or physical custody of the child. Split custody occurs when each parent has custody of at least one of the children.
Factors to Consider
When creating a fair custody arrangement, there are several factors to consider. These factors include the child’s age, needs, and preferences.
They also include each parent’s work schedule and availability. Plus, the proximity of each parent’s home to the child’s school and extracurricular activities is a factor.
Keep in mind that the goal of a custody arrangement is to ensure that the child’s best interests are met. This means that both parents should be willing to compromise and work together to create an arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. This may mean both parents need to make sacrifices or adjustments to their own schedules.
Creating a Custody Agreement
Once you’ve thought about everything you need to do, it’s time to make the custody agreement. The agreement should have details about legal and physical custody, visitation rights, and holiday and vacation plans.
The agreement should make it clear who has legal custody and who makes important choices for the child’s life. It should also say who has physical custody, where the child will live, and who will take care of them every day. If both parents will take care of the child, the agreement should explain how that will work.
The agreement should also explain when the non-custodial parent can see the child, and for how long. It should also explain how the child’s time will be divided between the parents for holidays and vacations.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
While you can make a custody agreement by yourself, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer’s help. They can make sure that your agreement is fair and legal. They can also guide you through the legal steps and make sure that your agreement follows all the rules.
A lawyer can also help with things like child support and alimony. They can talk to the other parent and help you agree on a plan that works for everyone.
Mediation as an Alternative
If you and the other parent are unable to come to an agreement on their own, mediation may be a viable option. Mediation involves working with a neutral third party to come to a resolution that works for everyone involved. A mediator can help facilitate communication and negotiation between both parties to reach a fair custody agreement.
Mediation can be a beneficial alternative to court battles, as it often results in a more amicable and less contentious resolution. It can also be less expensive and time-consuming than going to court.
Finalizing the Agreement
Once you and the other parent have agreed on the custody arrangement, it’s important to have the agreement reviewed and approved by a family law judge. This will ensure that the agreement meets all necessary legal requirements and that it is binding.
It’s also important to keep in mind that custody arrangements can be modified in the future if necessary. If there are significant changes in either parent’s circumstances, such as a change in job or relocation, the custody arrangement may need to be modified to ensure that the child’s best interests are still being met.
Tips for Co-Parenting Successfully
To co-parent successfully, start with a fair custody arrangement. Communicate openly and respectfully when discussing important issues about your child. Keep the child’s best interests in mind and follow the schedule reliably. If you need to make changes, give the other parent plenty of notice.
Encourage your child to spend time with the other parent and support their relationship. Co-parenting requires teamwork from both parents to ensure their child’s well-being.
Consider seeking help from a mediator or counselor if you’re struggling to co-parent well. Remember, creating a fair custody arrangement is just the first step to successful co-parenting.
It’s also important to maintain boundaries in your co-parenting relationship. Avoid using your child as a messenger or a bargaining tool.
As well, don’t speak poorly about the other parent in front of your child. Keep adult issues between adults and focus on creating a positive and healthy environment for your child.
Creating a Fair Custody Arrangement
Creating a fair custody arrangement can be a challenging process, but it’s essential to ensure that children’s needs are being met following a divorce. By considering all necessary factors, you can create a custody agreement that meets everyone’s needs.
If you are in need of legal assistance or guidance throughout the custody arrangement process, contact Fairwell Family Law Mediation. You can easily book a quick guidance call with us today to learn more about our mediation services.