Posted on: 27 January 2017Share
When two people decide to get a divorce and children are involved, a parenting plan will have to be established. If both parents are local and both have a strong relationship with the kids, joint physical and joint legal custody is probably in the best interest of the children. While developing a visitation plan can be difficult, always putting the needs of the children first will make it easier. The children will adapt to most situations, as long as both parents work to provide routine and structure for the children. A parenting plan that is agreed upon by both parents is usually one that is going to be successful in the long run.
When Joint Physical and Joint Legal Custody Is Established
With shared legal and physical custody, both parents have equal responsibility for the children. This means that medical decisions, educational decisions, and financial support are shared by the parents. When you and your ex are able to parent the children in a civil manner, this type of custody usually works out fine. Both parents will have individual parenting time with the children, and each needs to consult the other before big decisions are made. Children deserve to have both parents in their lives, and this is an arrangement in their best interest if it can be accomplished.
When One Parent Isn't Available
Sometimes one parent can't be there for the children after a divorce. Whether they are incarcerated, missing, or simply need to move far away for a job, this leaves custody up to the parent who is there for the children. The parent who is taking care of the children can be awarded sole physical custody with shared legal custody between both parents, or the parent may be awarded sole physical and sole legal custody. This arrangement all depends on why the second parent isn't available to the children, whether or not there will be a visitation schedule with the second parent, and if it is safe for the children to have visitation with the second parent.
If you and your ex can't come up with a custody arrangement, you can try working with a mediator to establish a fair plan. If this doesn't work, you'll need the services of an attorney to help you fight for what is rightfully yours. When you have concerns about the parenting abilities of your ex, it's important to protect your children as much as you can.