Divorced parents who share custody of their young children need to be willing to put serious effort into making things work. Those in the midst of negotiating new custody agreements as well as those with existing ones are advised to consider whether their parenting plans were actually true to the realities of their situations. Instead of demanding full custody after a tough breakup or trying to overfill their schedules, ex-spouses need to think about what’s best for the child.
Attorneys note that once formalized, parenting plans are legally binding. Rigid plans may become unworkable due to factors like a child’s changing academic requirements, however, so communication is essential. To avoid situations that could result in judges stepping in, parents can takes steps like keeping and sharing notes on their children’s development, using apps and text messages to coordinate schedules and maintaining open lines of communication for confirming meetings and custody transfers.
Parents should also realize that the demands of shared custody can change due to external factors, such as the beginning of the school year or academic holidays. Those who get divorced during the summer might find it necessary to reevaluate their plans and expectations for visitation and other factors once the long break is over. Parents need to be willing to reassess existing arrangements periodically so that they can improve them.
Child custody disputes can be a contentious part of a divorce, and they tend to spill over to the children who are involved. By keeping their relationship with each other separate from matters that concern their children, exes can plan custody and visitation arrangements that promote healthier lifestyles for everyone involved. A family law attorney can often be of assistance to a divorcing parent in negotiating such a plan.