The idea of child custody can be terrifying. Without real professional guidance and information custody becomes a hyperbolized version in a lot of people’s minds that is encouraged by television. People see custody battles take place in movies and don’t realize that in most cases it is dramatized or exploited. This misconception attaches fear and added stress to the already strenuous process of divorce, making couples enter a child custody order with a preconceived notion that it will turn into an all-out sword fight over who gets the kids. In reality, custody can be fair to both parents. But remember fair, doesn’t necessarily mean equal.
Child custody is dependent on a variety of factors that are individual to each family
Child custody is dependent on several factors, the most important being parental duties, the availability of the parties, and the practicality of the situation. If both parents keep these factors in mind, and use them as guidelines in their decision making, having a fair custody agreement is quite simple. Divorce is often intertwined with extreme emotions such as anger, hurt, and fear, and although it is difficult to separate yourself from those feelings, they are what most often get in the way of developing a fair and well-thought-out custody agreement. Handle your decisions as if they are a business deal – with a calm level head, and reason.
Keep in mind what is best for the children
Custody schedules are developed in a multitude of ways, making each and every situation unique, but they are all generally based off of the principle, “What is best for the children?” A judge will enforce whichever custody agreement best fits the kid’s needs. For the most part, that is the availability of the parents to be home in order to take care of and spend time with their kids. This is where the fair (but not necessarily equal) distinction comes into play. If one parent works long hours or travels a lot they will most likely have fewer nights with the kids. This has nothing to do with their ability to parent and is not a testament to their character, it is simply what is more practical for the children’s schedules. “Fair” comes down to having the appropriate amount of time with your children in proportion to your other obligations and responsibilities. Although it may be frustrating for some parents to have less amount of time with their kids than their ex, it is more important that your children are looked after.
Of course, just because fair doesn’t always mean equal, it can. Equal custody schedules are becoming more and more popular between divorced couples and there are multiple variations of equally shared custody schedules that allow both parents to have their children for 50% of the overnights. The schedule that you and your ex-spouse choose will be dependent on the availability in each of your everyday lives. Whether that be from week to week, or from day to day, the schedule will be divided based on which days of the week you are home to be with the children. To look into the specifics and see a full breakdown of how these recommended custody schedules work visit “How Child Custody Works in Divorce”