When you have children and you are going through a divorce, it's important to get a parenting plan and custody agreement set in place as soon as you can. It isn't easy for your children to deal with a divorce, and setting up a routine that allows for time with both parents can help. When both parents are able and willing to care for the children, the parenting plan and custody should reflect equal parenting time as much as possible. If you and your ex both have the ability to parent and make decisions regarding the children together, there's no reason that both of you can't share physical and legal custody to take care of the children.
Know That Your Children Come First
If your children have been closely parented by both of you, the parenting plan will need to reflect equal time with both parents. While it is difficult to give up seeing your children half the time, your children's needs come first. When your children have a loving, caring relationship with both parents, they need to get the chance to see each parent as much as possible. If they are older, they may express a desire to spend more time with one parent. Listen to your teenager and consider what they want when it comes to visitation.
Custody Arrangements for Co-Parents
Custody arrangements for two people who are getting along usually share physical and shared legal custody. If the children are going to have a primary residence for school purposes, that parent may have sole physical custody while both parents share legal custody. In general, both parents have legal rights to make decisions and to care for the children as they see fit while the children are in their home. When there are no protective concerns, there's no reason for one parent to monitor or have a say in what goes on in the other parent's home.
If You Have Sole Custody
If you are getting a divorce because of domestic violence and you fear for the safety of your children, you might be awarded sole physical and legal custody. This means you get all the control when it comes to taking care of and making decisions for your children. Your ex may get visitation, either supervised or not.
When you have children and you are going through a divorce, a divorce attorney can help you create a solid parenting plan and custody agreement that works for everyone.