Child custody matters can be among the most difficult with divorce. After all, what happens with a child because of divorce is an important but emotional issue. If the parents can agree on a custody plan, there is no need to take things further. However, the below suggestions could help others get the custody decision made.
Create a Parenting Plan
In many places, divorce agreements covering child custody, visitation, and child support are grouped together and referred to as parenting plans. Some divorcing parents are ready with this plan but some may struggle with it. It can be difficult to sit down across a table with the spouse you have strong feelings about. However, it's always better for the children when the plan is custom-made by the parents.
You and your spouse know what works for your child and what does not. If the plan is okayed by the judge, it becomes an order and part of the divorce agreement. Use care when considering who should maintain full physical custody, what should be done about visitation, and more. Leave issues about child support for your lawyers, however. Child support is based on state and federal laws so the parents have little input in who must pay child support and how much they must pay.
When Parents Don't Agree
Child custody disagreements often slow down the divorce process. It may be helpful for parents to participate in mediation. This form of compromising and decision-making can also be beneficial for making almost any divorce issue go away. The parties come together under the direction of a neutral third-party professional mediator. The mediator speaks with the couple together and alone and helps them focus on what they want to happen with child custody and visitation. They foster compromises on some very emotional matters and allow many couples to create a great parenting plan going forward.
Court Ordered Help
Judges recognize how difficult it can be to make child custody decisions. They also recognize that they are probably not the best person to make those decisions. Child custody evaluations can be ordered when everything else has failed. Evaluators spend time with the child and the parents to observe their interactions and relationships. They may interview the child or particulate in play scenarios with them, depending on the age of the child. Some evaluators also interview the child's pediatrician, teacher, other family members, and more. The results of the evaluation may be used to help the judge make some tough child custody decisions.
If you have minor-aged children, their well-being is a big part of your concerns.
Contact a company like Ritter & LeClere APC Attorneys At Law to learn more.