What to Consider When Creating a Child Custody Agreement

  1. Child Custody
  2. What to Consider When Creating a Child Custody Agreement
Separation of family figure cut away from gavel on grey background | New Direction Family Law

Children often have a very difficult time adjusting to their new normal when their parents decide to get divorced. Some studies have suggested it may take children up to 2 years to get fully adjusted to their new way of living.

If you are hoping to speed up this process, then you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse should work hard on putting together the best child custody agreement possible.

It may be difficult to come to an agreement on many things when you are working your way through a divorce. But you should try to make things as easy as you can for your kids by coming to agreements on issues like child custody, child support, and child visitation. It’ll work wonders for the overall well-being of your children.

Prior to discussing a child custody agreement, you should educate yourself on the different factors that will have an impact. This will help you better prepare for it and hopefully enable you and your significant other to come to an agreement sooner.

Here are the key things to consider when creating a child custody agreement.

The Parents’ Wishes

When you initially sit down with your significant other to discuss a child custody agreement, it’s important to approach the conversation calmly and openly express your feelings regarding custody arrangements. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of finding an amicable solution and determining the primary parent without engaging in unnecessary arguments.

About 75% of children with divorced parents end up residing with their mothers. In many instances, this arrangement is due to the mothers’ preference for their children to live with them, and fathers willingly consent to this arrangement.

Navigating child custody matters with your significant other may not always be straightforward, and disagreements might arise. Nonetheless, it is crucial to engage in open and honest conversations to explore the possibility of finding common ground and reaching an agreement, even if you initially feel far apart on the issue.

The Children’s Wishes

As a parent, it is essential to recognize that most children lack the mental and emotional maturity to make the most informed decisions regarding which parent they would prefer to live with after a divorce. They may not fully comprehend the various impacts of a divorce on their lives.

Nevertheless, it remains crucial for you and your significant other to have open and supportive conversations with your kids about the upcoming divorce. Understanding their wishes and desires for child custody is important. After all, your primary objective is to prioritize what will be ultimately best for your children. Thus, involving them to some extent in the child custody agreement discussions is essential.

The Relationships Parents and Children Have

After considering the feelings of both you and your children regarding child custody, it’s essential to reflect on the relationships each parent has with the kids. This aspect will play a significant role in shaping the child custody agreement.

If your children have primarily been cared for by their mother while their father has been occupied with work, it may be reasonable to let the mother continue as the primary caregiver. This approach will result in minimal disruption to your children’s lives.

Conversely, if the father has been actively involved in taking the children to school, picking them up, and managing their various activities, he might be the more obvious choice for the majority of custody time. Ultimately, the decision will be centered around what serves the best interests of the children.

Securing less custody time does not imply that you won’t maintain a healthy and meaningful relationship with your kids. It simply means that you will strive to maintain a sense of normalcy and stability in their lives as much as possible.

The Health of Parents and Children

If either parent or the children face health challenges requiring additional care, these factors should be carefully considered when determining the child custody agreement. For instance, if a parent struggles with a physical disability or a mental health issue that hinders effective parenting, it might warrant the other parent spending more time with the children.

Likewise, if one of your children has a health condition demanding constant medical attention, this aspect should be taken into account. The parent who can provide the most care and support may be the one who receives greater custody.

During this part of the conversation, it’s essential for both you and your significant other to approach the discussion with reason and empathy. Being open about everyone’s health issues allows for a fair and well-informed decision-making process.

The Living Accommodations Parents Can Provide

As we’ve emphasized before, prioritizing what’s best for your children should remain the central focus during discussions about the child custody agreement. Therefore, it becomes essential to assess which parent can provide the most suitable living environment for them.

If feasible, maintaining the children in their current home may be advantageous, as it allows them to continue attending the same school, be with familiar friends, and maintain a sense of stability.

However, if this arrangement is not possible, both you and your significant other must engage in open and honest communication about your future living arrangements and how they will impact the well-being of your children. While the children can stay with each parent at different times, having a designated home base is crucial to uphold a sense of normalcy and security for them.

The Allegations of Abuse or Neglect That May Exist

If there have been no allegations of abuse or neglect during your marriage, this factor may not be a concern for you. However, if such issues have arisen, they must be addressed during the discussions about your child custody agreement.

In such cases, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a child custody lawyer. They can help you establish appropriate restrictions concerning your significant other’s visitation rights, specifying the timing and duration of their interactions with the children. This legal support ensures the protection and well-being of your kids.

Contact Us for Help With a Child Custody Agreement

While some parents can easily reach a child custody agreement, others may face difficulties in the process. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, New Direction Family Law is here to support you. We are well-versed in addressing matters related to child support and visitation in Wake, Durham, Johnston, and surrounding counties.

Reach out to us today to begin your journey towards a resolution. We are here to assist you every step of the way.

Touch base with us today to get started.

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