A divorce can be very difficult for a child to go through. Parents know what is best for their child, which is why many parents agree to make the decision about custody arrangements on their own rather than let a judge decide. Here are some tips that will help deciding on child custody arrangements.
Decide on Single Issues at a Time
Making decisions about several issues all at once can be very stressful. That is why it is best to make decisions on single issues before moving on. You can make a lot of progress by making decisions on issues that won't have much controversy, such as the school the child will be going to or who's health insurance plan the child will be on. Leave the tough decisions for last so that they do not hold up the mediation process.
You may be tempted to over-commit yourself when making custody arrangements. This includes things such as planning after school visitation time when you have an unreliable work schedule. Be realistic with the commitments that you are making. You want to be in your child's life as much as possible, but some things will be more practical to leave to the other parent.
Keep Custody Arrangements Simple
Your goal should be to keep custody arrangements as simple as possible for your child. You may want to split custody 50/50, but that may not necessarily be best for your child. For instance, changing their living arrangements every other day can be a challenge because no particular place will feel like home.
Try to keep school age children on a custody schedule that allows them to stay at one home during the week. Use weekends as your time to switch locations, and remember that summer allows for more flexibility.
Plan For Back-Up Help
You won't have your spouse around as your emergency back-up help like before. Make sure to know the schedule of your former spouse and when they are available to step in and help at the last minute.
Plan to have several people in your life that you know you can depend on for helping with your childcare when your former spouse cannot. This could include a relative that can pick your child up from school if you unexpectedly have to work late, or even someone that can watch your child when they are sick. Having help lined up in advance can help avoid unnecessary scrambling later.
Talk to a lawyer, like Eschbacher Law, for more help.