Determining the ongoing care of your children is often one of the trickiest parts of a divorce. Even though you and your ex disagree on a lot, both of you desire to participate in raising and caring for the children you share.
Developing a child custody arrangement that works for everyone involved requires time and flexibility. Understanding the best interests of your children can help you to maintain realistic expectations as you negotiate an agreement.
Identifying your children’s needs
Getting caught up in the frustration you have with your ex or your ending relationship can prevent you from identifying the needs of your children. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, depending on their ages, the courts may use your children’s opinion to help make custody decisions. Other factors that influence the terms and conditions of your custody agreement may include the following:
- The maturity level and mental health of your children
- The ability of you and your ex to provide stable and safe homes
- The condition of parent-child relationships within your family
- The mental and emotional health of you and your ex
Preserving a custody agreement
Over time, the details of your custody agreement may lack efficiency. Life changes including relocation, career changes, the growth of your children and remarriage among other things, could call for changes. Petitioning to have your child custody agreement modified can allow you the chance to revisit the arrangement and assess where updates would improve its condition and function.
Maintaining a cordial relationship with your ex can also help to preserve the integrity of your custody agreement. Refrain from talking badly about your ex in front of your children. Share their enthusiasm for visiting your ex and make custody exchanges a positive experience. These responsible actions can improve everyone’s benefits.