As you prepare for divorce, you’ll have questions about how to best care for your children now and in the future. Since you’ll no longer be married, co-parenting concerns are sure to come to light.
It’s your hope that you can finalize child custody arrangements out of court, as this allows you to avoid the stress, time and financial impact of ligation.
If you’re attempting to finalize custody arrangements out of court, here are some things to think about:
- Mediation: During mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex will work through the details of your divorce, which includes all aspects of child custody. While the mediator helps keep the peace and move the process forward, it’s the responsibility of the divorcing couple to work out child custody-related details.
- Don’t leave any stone unturned: This is your chance to create a parenting plan and visitation agreement that outlines your co-parenting relationship in the future. Include anything and everything of importance, such as who will have physical custody, if you’ll share legal custody and how to split time on the holidays and special events.
- A family law judge must give final approval: Even if you work through everything in mediation, a judge will review your agreement for final approval. Depending on the circumstances, you may be asked to attend a court hearing to show the judge that you understand the agreement and your legal rights moving forward.
When both individuals are wiling to do so, it’s possible to finalize custody arrangements out of court. As long as you understand your legal rights and what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re in a position to get some or all of what you want.