When approaching the issue of child custody and parenting time, it’s essential to understand what would make sense for your child and their needs as well as for you, but don’t forget to think about what could be beneficial for everyone involved.
Before moving forward with a new or revised custody arrangement, you should consider the following.
The Best Interests of Your Child
The best interests of your child are the most critical factor in determining a custody arrangement, which means it’s crucial to understand what they need and want. This includes their physical and emotional health and how much each parent can provide for them. You should also consider each parent’s relationship with your child—and any other significant people in their life (like siblings and grandparents).
Financial stability is one of the most important things you can provide for your child. Having a plan for the future and being able to provide for your child are vital reasons for having a budget. A monthly budget will help you know what you can afford, whether paying for school or buying clothes and food.
Work Out How Finances Will Be Managed
Knowing how you will handle money is important, especially if the other party has been paying for everything up until now. For example, how much will each person contribute toward utilities? For daycare? Any additional expenses like after-school programs or trips out of town?
The best way to keep conflict from arising in this area is to put everything in writing and discuss who pays what and why before finalizing any agreements. This can help avoid misunderstandings that could make either party feel taken advantage of or resentful toward one other.
Consider Your Child’s Transportation Needs
When you start thinking about your parenting plan, one of the first things to consider is how your child will get from place to place. Whether it’s school, extracurricular activities, or just running errands with friends, both parents need to be on board and agree about how transportation needs will be addressed. If you live close enough together that this isn’t an issue, great! But if there are logistical challenges, make sure you have a plan before moving forward with your custody arrangement.
Compromise on the Holidays
A lot of people are going to be out of their routine during the holidays. You must do your best to make sure everyone is comfortable and has what they need. This can be as simple as changing a routine or reorganizing the space in your home, but it could also mean making some compromises with your partner.
If you can’t devise a solution that works for both parties, consider involving other family members. If one side is willing to compromise based on how the other side feels, it would be easier if another person could talk things through and help them come up with a solution they can both live with (or at least tolerate).
There are plenty of ways you and your kids can enjoy the holidays without causing friction between each other and still keeping traditions alive for future years!
Create Clear Expectations About Communication
How you communicate with your child and the other parent is critical to the success of your new custody arrangement. To ensure that everyone is comfortable with this method, you should discuss it before going to court.