Child Custody Arrangements – Which Works Best for Your Situation?
With almost half of marriages ending in separation or divorce, married life does not always have a happy ending. When children are involved, divorce can get messy and devising custody agreements can be emotionally draining for everyone involved. While the court assumes there will be shared parental responsibility, coming to a custody arrangement that works for both parents and is in the best interests of the children can be difficult. For family lawyers, Vermont locals trust Robert Wood and Associates. Shared custody in a practical sense comes in many forms, here we will explore a few examples.
This arrangement springs to mind for most people when they think of joint custody agreements.
This arrangement typically results in one parent having the children every alternate weekend, usually from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening or Monday morning. This approach has become less popular in recent times, as one parent often becomes the parent able to do all the fun weekend activities while the other is one enforcing homework and week day rules.
This is where the children spend one week with one parent, and the next week the other parent.
While this arrangement sees children having almost equal time with both parents on a regular basis, it often isn’t ideal as children go a whole week without seeing the other parent. For this to work, parents must live in close proximity to each other so that children can have seamless access to schools, friends and extracurricular activities regardless of which parent they are staying with.
Alternating Weeks with a Visit
Similar to the above agreement, yet each parent visits the children during their off-week. For example, if the children are living with their mother for the week, their father can visit one day after school. The same thing would happen vice versa while the kids were staying at their father’s house.
This can be helpful for younger children to settle into life with separated parents.
This agreement often works well when parents live a considerable distance from each other. One parent cares for the children during the entirety of the school term, while the other parent has them for the school holidays. Not usually suitable for younger children, this agreement sees children going lengthy periods without seeing one parent which isn’t always ideal.
A week-by-week custody schedule isn’t the only option, and sometimes it isn’t in the best interests of the children to go a week or longer without seeing one of their parents. This schedule sees the children live with one parent for Monday and Tuesday, the other parent for Wednesday and Thursday and back with the first parent for a three-day weekend. Then vice versa the following week. While this arrangement ensures children spend fair and equal time with both parents, it can pose a level of stress to children moving so frequently and is not usually viable unless parents live near each other.
Should Children Have an Opinion Regarding Custody Agreements?
It is important to involve children in discussions about custody options and understand their thoughts and feelings about the situation. Divorce is not easy on children, so letting them have a voice will help to make the transition smoother. Older children will have many questions, while younger children will need to be reassured that both parents will continue to be in their life. It’s vital that children feel as though they have had a say, as they will be more likely to co-operate with the new arrangement.
Every family is different and each has unique needs. Custody schedules should accommodate both the children’s and parents’ lifestyles with as little disruption to the children’s lives as possible.
The most important aspect of any custody agreement is that it is made according to the best interests of the children involved.
For a Professional Divorce Lawyer, Bayswater Families Should Choose Robert Wood & Associates
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