Divorce cases are always tough, but they are even tougher when there are children involved. This can be and usually is one of the toughest points to agree on in a marriage. In addition to the children, there are also significant financial considerations involved. If you need child custody help during a divorce, we have put together some tips that should help you with your case.
What do you really want out of this settlement? This is the most important question to ask before you take your first step. Are you looking for sole, joint, or split custody in the case?
With sole custody, the children will spend the majority of their time with one parent. The other parent is still able to visit the children (when agreed upon) as well as having alternate weekends twice a month (as well as alternating holidays). Additional arrangements can be made if both parents are in agreement. While the second parent can visit the children and they will still be with him or her, the primary parent is responsible for all major decisions when raising the children.
Joint custody will usually have a 1/3-2/3 split of time between the parents. For instance, one parent may have them Monday morning through Friday afternoon while the second parent gets them from Friday afternoon until Monday morning when they drop them off at school. Both parents will share all decision making and responsibility for the children.
Split custody does not happen very often, but it is another possibility. In this case, children will spend an extended time with one parent, then the other. This is really only feasible of the parents are still living in close proximity, allowing the children to attend the same school during the process. However, this may also work with a parent keeping the children during the school year while the other parent gets them when the year is completed.
Once you decide the type of custody you want, you need to prove to the courts that you are capable of being a proper parent. If you are the parent that is no longer in the home, you need to ensure that the time you spend with the children is quality time. You may have to adjust your work schedule to eliminate excessive or odd hours. You will also have to prove financial stability as well as a prudent lifestyle.
Also, keep in mind, if the children are old enough, the courts will ask them which parent is their preferred parent. This input will play a large part in the court’s decision, so you may want to have this conversation with the children before engaging in a long custody battle.