Pay Attention to the Details and Avoid Conflict when Sharing Custody
If you are getting a divorce and have children, you probably have a lot of questions regarding custody. There is no greater issue that needs to be resolved during your divorce than this. Other things of significance, like dividing the home that you have shared or the balance in your savings account, cannot compare with the impact that child custody will have on your life today and in the future.
Think of it this way: Any assets or debts that you have will be divided, and then you can simply move on. You might move on with a little less money in your bank account or with more debts than you wanted, but at the end of the day, you’re not really that much worse off.
It’s not so simple with child custody, however.
Custody Agreements Last for Years
You will be living with your custody arrangement potentially until your child turns eighteen. If you and your soon-to-be ex are not getting along, this can create a lot of stress in your daily life.
Even if you’re getting along now, you have to assume that at some point, you and your ex will not be on the same page, you will not be getting along, and yet you will still be sharing custody. If you plan for the worst-case scenario, you can prevent stress later regardless of what happens.
With that in mind, your parenting plan needs to be both detailed and specific. A routine can be established that is free from ambiguity, and if a dispute were to ever occur, the parenting plan would be easy to reference.
Tips for Avoiding Future Conflicts when Sharing Custody
Use these suggestions when developing your custody schedule to ensure that you avoid future disputes:
- Set a Schedule – Instead of saying that you share custody, you need to establish the exact days that your children are with each parent and then stick with that schedule. Whether that means they stay with one parent Monday through Thursday and every other weekend or you have a week on/week off schedule, it needs to be set and in writing.
- Create a Contingency Plan – You and your ex are both likely to be working and establishing new social lives. That means that your custody arrangement may not always work. What if one of you has to leave town? Who watches the kids and how does that change the schedule? In a situation like this, you can avoid conflict by offering each other the opportunity to be with the kids and by keeping the schedule intact going forward rather than trying to move days around to make up for it.
- Exchange Your Children at a Neutral Location – You can make life far easier by agreeing to exchange the children at a designated place and time. Something like “Main Street Starbucks at 6:00 pm on Friday” is far better than saying you will exchange the kids “sometime on Friday.” One is specific and the other is not.
The more specific and detailed your parenting plan is, the more successful you will be at transitioning from married with kids to divorced with kids.
Schedule a Consultation
To get help with creating a specific custody plan, call the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock and schedule a consultation. You can do so by calling 909-466-7661 or submitting the form at the bottom of this page.
We encourage you to share this blog so that any of your friends who are divorcing can plan for the future.