Going through a divorce is a big event in your life, but your children are also impacted by this decision. You have to think carefully about the decisions you make regarding your children because the child custody solutions you find now can impact your children for a long time to come.
There are several different decisions that you need to make for your child. Making sure that you take the time to consider each one is crucial.
How parenting time will be split
One of the most important things that you have to think about is how the child will be able to spend time with both parents. In the past, the child was most likely to live with the mother and only see the father every other weekend and for a couple of weeks during the summer. Those days are largely gone.
Parenting plans can be set up in any manner that works for your children. You have to think about what they need and what activities they participate in. All of this, as well as when you can devote time to spend with your children, come into the picture.
Be sure to include instructions for holidays and other special days. Will you and your ex put your differences aside and spend time with the child together? Will you rotate holidays? This is one area where you really need to think about your children. It might be tempting to insist that you have your children for a holiday just so you ex won't have them. However, if your ex's family does a big celebration, your children might be upset that they don't get to go.
Which parent makes decisions for the child?
Decision-making responsibilities have to be taken very seriously. Each aspect of the child's life needs to be covered. Medical care, education and faith are three of the most common areas where parents need to set decision-making responsibilities.
You can handle this in a few different ways. One is that you and your ex can make decisions together. Another is that one person can be appointed for each type of decision. You could also use a cross between these where the parent who has the child is the parent who will make the choice about those decisions.
Make sure that your agreement is spelled out clearly. Another thing that you need to do is to put a stipulation in the child custody order about emergencies. For example, decide if the parent who has the child can make a decision about a life-saving medical procedure without having to consult with the other parent.