In any child custody case, the main concern is the health and wellbeing of the children involved. It should be your goal, as well as the court’s, to make sure that your children get through this situation as healthily as possible.
Divorces can be emotionally and physically draining. As a parent, it is your responsibility to do all you can to make it as easy as possible for your child. Deciding to work as a coparent and to make your custody arrangements amicable helps.
How do you decide on a custody schedule?
To start with, you and the other parent will need to decide who is going to have custody of your child. You may both agree to split custody 50-50, or you might agree that it’s better for one parent to have primary custody 60 or 70% of the time. Take into consideration different factors that may impact custody, such as:
- Your ability to provide for your child
- Space for your child to live in a new apartment or home
- Your child’s wishes
- Your work schedule
- The ability to get support caring for your child
- The school system in the area
- Your child’s current relationships
The court will want to see that you and the other parent are making decisions that are in your child’s best interests. For example, if you’re asking to move away from your current city and want to take your child with you, the court will want to know if that’s really the best option. The judge may ask if your child will be going to a better school or have better opportunities.
When parents can’t get along, it’s often up to the judge to decide on the custody arrangements based on each parent’s requests. To keep the schedule in your control, it’s better if you and the other parent can settle on a custody schedule outside of court and send it to the court for approval. If you can’t do that, come to court prepared to show why the schedule you want is right for your child, so you have the best opportunity to get that set up as the final custody agreement.