If you and your co-parent will be sharing custody of your children, you may be more focused on working out a custody schedule than the details of how the kids will get back and forth between your homes. However, these exchanges can be some of the most conflict-ridden parts of shared custody.
You have a custody and visitation agreement in place with your co-parent. However, when you go to pick up your child for his or hers weekend visit, you find that your co-parent has taken him on a weekend trip. Your co-parent is supposed to drop off your child with you for a visit over the holidays but doesn't make it back from a visit to the grandparents until the next day -- cutting short your time with your child. These are just two examples of custody interference. It is not just frustrating and sometimes heartbreaking. It's illegal.
If you're a divorcing parent who has had issues with alcohol, those issues are likely to factor into your custody and visitation agreement. Even if you've moderated your drinking or stopped completely, your co-parent may still be concerned for the safety and well-being of your kids if they're alone in your care.
If you or your co-parent has recently moved some distance away, you may be facing the prospect of putting your child on an airplane by themselves for the first time to visit their mom or dad over the holidays. That can be frightening.
If you're like most noncustodial parents, you probably want to spend more time with your kids. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to do this, and the other parent of your child will – in most circumstances – be on board with the idea. Here are some simple ways to spend more time with your kids without making changes to your child custody agreement:
Joint custody will often result in the children having two primary homes. Essentially, the children will live half the time with Parent A and half the time with Parent B. To some, this kind of arrangement might seem extreme and difficult to manage. Nevertheless, family and child psychologists have found that when the parents and children can successfully balance a relationship like this, the children benefit from spending as much time as possible with both parents.
Many parents enjoy keeping a daily log of the activities they enjoy with their children. This only comes naturally to someone who loves keeping a diary. Other parents, however, never consider how valuable such a journal can be to them and their families. This value is two-fold. First, it helps you remember all the wonderful moments you've enjoyed with your children and second, it could serve as valuable evidence if your parenting contribution is ever challenged in a child custody case.
When two parents decide to get divorced, they will have numerous issues to negotiate and decide as a part of breaking up their marriage. However, there's one topic that always takes the cake: child custody. You and your future co-parent will need to come to agreement on vital issues relating to who your children will live with and how your children will spend time with both parents. There are other vital co-parenting issues you'll need to decide as well, and all this should be included in your parenting agreement.
When you have sole custody of your children, you will have complete authority and responsibility over their lives and they will also live with you full time. In many cases, an unmarried mother who gives birth to a child will automatically have sole custody of her child, but the biological father may be able to pursue the right to spend time with the child via a court-approved visitation schedule. In other cases, one of the parents may acquire sole custody if the other parent is deemed to be unfit for a variety of reasons, or if the other parent abandons the child.
Although having joint custody does mean that you'll share time with your child with your ex-spouse and have to go some days without seeing your child at all, it's truly in a child's best interests in most cases. As a newly single parent, you should know that there are benefits to you, too.