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Finding A Balance: A Guide to Making Child Custody Arrangements

19th May 2020 Legal Advice
Once there has been a breakdown in your relationship, there are practical issues which need to be resolved quickly, such as child custody arrangements. Although both you and your partner may want to have equal time with your children and see this as a practical and fair solution- this may not always be the best-case scenario for the children. 

A Guide To Co-Parenting

It is usually in the best interest of your children to have both parents actively involved in their lives. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that your parenting responsibilities are spread amongst both parents so that your children can still feel supported and loved even though there has been a breakdown in your marital relationship. However, creating such arrangements can be difficult to create especially when there has been a breach of trust.  Generally, children deal with separation better when both their parents live near each other. Although this may not be a possible option for all families, any decisions made need to be clear, so that you and your former partner are aware of how you will be parenting your children separately, so that you can build on the strengths of your relationships with them. Being able to have a healthy co-parenting relationship can influence a child's healthy emotional and mental well-being.

Developing A Plan That Actually Works

For the sake of your children, your parenting plan should be centred around them. Outlining each respective parent's obligations and rights will ensure compliance and stability for your children. When considering what aspects should be planned out, your child's physical and emotional needs should be taken into account. No two families are alike, meaning each parenting plan will be customised to what will work best for you to meet your families specific needs.  Here are some things to consider to help you get started: 
  • Safe and stable living environment
  • Medical care or needs
  • Protection from harm
  • Maintaining a healthy mental state  
  • Education
  • A monthly schedule outlining which parent they will be visiting on which day
  • Holiday and other special events 
  • How decisions will be made
You should also consider making a backup arrangement in case circumstances change and complying with the initial agreement is not possible.

Set Out How Communication Will Take Place

It's not surprising that most parents assume, co-parenting is something that you will figure out quickly, and your children will adapt to the new routine without any hiccups. However this may not be the situation, and your child may have a tough time easing into the new routine. When faced with a scenario, it is important to keep a record of your communications and important information which can be easily accessed by both parents, so that your child's progression can be monitored. You may find co-parenting apps a useful resource in keeping both parents informed.  Making child custody arrangements can be a straightforward task if both parents are willing to cooperate. In making the arrangements for your children, it is crucial that their needs are at the centre of the discussion. If you're seeking legal advice around Parenting & Children's Matters, then why not get in touch for a free initial 30 minute consultation today!

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