If you are going through a divorce, you already understand how difficult this entire ordeal is on your children. You should know, however, that you and your spouse could be doing your children a huge favor by making child custody and visitation arrangements yourselves. No one knows your unique circumstances better, so try to put aside your differences long enough to create a fair and workable child visitation and custody agreement yourself, instead of leaving it to a family court judge. Read on for some quick and easy tips for setting up an arrangement that benefits everyone.
1. To keep the potential for acrimony low, begin your planning by taking on only one issue at a time, and begin with a less controversial issue that you both are more likely to agree upon. For example, begin by discussing your child's school choice, or who'll pay for their braces. Being able to agree on some initial points at the beginning can set the tone for more difficult decisions later.
2. Take a close look at both of your work schedules when planning visitation. Don't obligate yourself to do school pick-up duty if you know you will be working during that time. No matter how much you want to spend time with your child, disappointing them because of over-commitment is far worse.
3. Keep it as simple as possible. Your child is already under a lot of stress because of the divorce, so ensure that you are not adding to that stress by creating overly-complicated visitation or custody schedules. For example, if you and your spouse decide to pursue the shared custody option, try to keep school nights restricted to just one parent, in just one home, with the other parent taking over on holidays and weekends.
4. Be sure to build a few emergency solutions into your plan. Back ups for sick days, car breakdowns and bad weather should be thought out ahead of time. For example, a list of several people who can step in and do some sitting or school pick ups in an emergency is vital.
5. Depending on the age of your children, you can take their viewpoints about custody and visitation into consideration, but forcing a child to make such an adult-like decision is unwise. Gather their input, but don't allow them to make the decision. On a related note, having older children who are driving may call for a more flexible plan, since children of that age tend to crave some independence and have full social schedules.
For more information about creating child custody and visitation agreements, contact a family law attorney at a law firm such as Knollmeyer Law Office.Share