Divorcing parents have a lot on their minds, not the least of which is how they will work out a child custody order so that they can transition into a functional co-parenting team.
If this is the first time you’ve ever tried to craft a custody and parenting plan, then you likely have a ton of questions. The following answers may help:
1. Who gets physical and legal custody?
When discussing a child custody order, parents will have to figure out both physical and legal custody. Physical custody involves which parent has actual physical control of the child at any given moment. Legal custody determines how much say parents have over their child’s upbringing, such as their education, health and religion.
Parents often share physical and legal custody in some manner – but that all depends on the dynamic between the parents and whatever is in the child’s best interests.
2. How are holidays divided?
One of the biggest topics of discussion when talking about visitation is how holidays are spent. Parents often believe that some of the most important times of the year should be spent with their children, but this often means divorced parents have to share. One way this could be done is if holidays are rotated each year between parents, but other solutions are possible.
3. When should a custody order be altered?
Child custody orders typically have to be adjusted over time. Possibly the most common cause of a custody order change is because the child has grown and has new needs and wants. Alternatively, parents may agree to a custody order alteration or it might be necessary if, for example, the child is endangered or a parent recently changed jobs.
4. Should you get legal help?
It’s often difficult for parents to come to an agreement over child custody and parenting plans. In many cases, this happens because parents aren’t aware of their legal options. It may benefit you to reach out for legal help when discussing the care and well-being of your child.