The necessity of splitting your children’s time with a formal child custody order may arise during or after your divorce as it becomes more difficult for parents to get along.

While some couples can agree on schedules and how much time each child will spend with each parent throughout the year, there are many cases which need the court to intervene to settle disputes and make child custody arrangements enforceable by law.

Noncustodial parent tips

As the parent who the courts may award secondary custody, it is important to show why you deserve joint custody, not only in court but also while you are with your children.

  • Make education a priority: Courts take children’s education seriously, so make sure your children have good attendance and grades while they are with you. Get to know their teachers and involve yourself at school.
  • Do not move away: Maintaining the stability of your children’s lives is also an important aspect, and if living with you during the school year means having to get up extra early and spend extra travel time in the car, this might hinder the court’s decision. Stay close by to help the court rule in your favor.
  • Understand their health needs: Health is a fundamental aspect in taking good care of children. Become educated on their needs, feed them healthy foods, make sure they are bathing and brushing their teeth well and get to know their doctor.

Protect your family time

Keep in mind that the courts will take into consideration the children’s best interest first with a focus on continuity and stability, including any general schedule you and your ex have followed in the past that has worked. So, if the children have been spending more time with one parent over the other, there is a chance that will remain the same, also called “status quo.”

If you would like more time with your children, you can present the court with reasons as to why increased visitation rights would be a good decision for them.