Joint Custody Can Avoid Visitation Issues After a Divorce
If you're in the process of divorcing your spouse, you may want to consider joint child custody. In the absence of domestic violence or substance abuse on the part of your ex, some families have found joint custody to be a workable solution for co-parenting after a split.
In all situations, the best interests of the child should be taken into account when negotiating a custody arrangement. First and foremost, always keep in mind that you're doing all of this for your children, not yourself. The end goal is making sure your children are raised in a happy, loving, and stable environment.
What Is Joint Custody?
When parents share the responsibility of raising their child but do not live together, this is considered joint custody. The parents share decisions about:
● Overall or day-to-day care of the child
● Housing the child
● Medical decisions for the child
Joint custody can be:
1. Joint legal custody
2. Joint physical custody
3. Joint legal and physical custody
In a joint physical custody arrangement, parents often share joint legal custody. However, those who share joint legal custody do not always share physical custody as well. A child custody lawyer (Bloomington, IL) relies on can further clarify these details for you.
Joint Custody Requires Mutual Flexibility Between Parents
Because the two parents will likely have conflicting schedules, it may require that one or both prepare to be flexible to accommodate a sometimes fluid custody arrangement. Schedules change, situations change, sometimes through no fault of yourself or ex-spouse. Prepare to adjust accordingly.
Communication is Key in Joint Custody Arrangements
You must be willing to communicate with your ex-spouse even when you don't feel like talking to them.
● One option is to create an online calendar to which you both have access, adding and deleting appointments as they affect your child’s care.
● Text or email is another option.
● If both parties avoid last minute changes as much as possible this will help all concerned.
Joint custody can work, but it does take some effort. However, your children may benefit from this arrangement which then makes it worthwhile.
Legal Protection Under the Law
One of the most contentious aspects of a divorce is determining a child custody arrangement that is suitable for both parents, and especially for the child. Joint custody is a popular solution, but it is not always the best one, nor is it the only one. Regardless of what arrangement you come to, it’s very important to specify the arrangement in writing. This can help protect your rights and the rights of your child. For help with your child custody arrangement, seek the legal guidance of a family law attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into visitation rights.