Managing Child Custody During Divorce
Divorce can be emotionally draining, stressful, and even overwhelming. After sharing your life with another person for so long, the process of dividing the life you had can be complicated and, at times, frustrating. One of the matters closest to the heart of many divorcing couples is the children they share. From the very initial stages of divorce, couples will need to make arrangements for how they will share in caring for their children in the immediate now and the long term. Formulating agreements can be tough. While there are several typical types of custody arrangements that parents can make, you and your partner can also customize a plan to meet your child’s specific needs. Your family lawyer will tell you that you and your partner will be charged with keeping the child’s best interests at the forefront. However, for those who are unable to do so, the court may become involved and make decisions for you and your children in some cases. When enduring a divorce, it may be a good idea to access the benefits a family lawyer can provide. They can listen to your needs and work closely with you to ensure that your interests are kept at the forefront.
Formulating Agreements for Child Custody
Right from the very start of the divorce process, it will be critical to begin making arrangements. When divorce is initiated, parties can formulate interim or temporary custody and support agreements to ensure that the child is cared for while parties work towards making a permanent agreement and the divorce is finalized. While the court ultimately finalizes these agreements, both parties can develop these agreements outside of the courtroom. In some situations, parties may even participate in mediation as a way of developing their parenting plan. There will be much to consider, and having someone present as a mediator or lawyer can ensure nothing is left out of the agreement. Typically child custody arrangements can include:
- Sole Custody
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody
- Joint Custody
While there are standard agreements that families may choose, it’s essential to be aware that your family can develop particular agreements to your situation. Having the ability to engage in this process with the child’s parent can be critical to ensuring your child’s needs are met and that both of you can have a voice in the process.
The Best Interest of the Child
When decisions for minors are made through the divorce process, the court adopts the principle that any arrangements should be in the child’s best interest. This means that children’s health, well-being, happiness, and mental health are all kept at the forefront. For the child’s best interest, it’s more important than ever that parents develop a plan that focuses on their child’s needs. However, it should come as no surprise that parents may have trouble reaching agreements in more contentious situations. Should this occur, the judge may make decisions for your family and will consider the following:
- Child Age
- Ensure that plans are least disruptive to the child
- Whether the parent can meet the basic needs of their child:
- Medical Care
- Their Safety
Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea for parents to develop agreements together. When the court has to step in, parents may lose their voice in the process.
Lawyers Provide a Range of Benefits
Divorce is a trying process, and it can take time for both you and your family to adjust to the changes that have occurred. While adjusting to all these changes, contending with divorce can be incredibly stressful, which is why seeking counsel from a family lawyer may be in your best interest. Developing agreements around child custody and child support is challenging, but a divorce will require several other agreements. Managing the court process and even facing your soon-to-be-ex can feel daunting. Having a lawyer to represent your interests can give you confidence in knowing that you have a professional in your corner to ensure the best possible outcomes. Call Olesko Law Firm, PLLC today.