Elements To Consider In Your Child Custody Settlement

One key stage in your divorce process is the child custody settlement. You'll have to work out the details of the custody agreement ahead of time to ensure that you and your former spouse both understand the expectations. When you're creating a child custody plan, there are some key elements that should be included and decided in advance. Here are some of the things you should know to ensure that you have a comprehensive custody plan to submit to the court.

Start With Custody Declarations

The most important element of your child custody agreement details who will actually have custody of your child. You'll have to determine who will have legal custody and who will have physical custody. There is a difference.

Legal custody refers to who has the right to make legal, medical, and educational decisions for your children. Physical custody defines who the children will be physically living with. You can declare that one parent has full legal custody while both parents share physical custody. In other situations, you may have one parent with physical custody while both parents share legal custody. If there are safety or responsibility concerns, you might have one parent declared to have full legal and physical custody.

Determine A Visitation Schedule

In addition to the custody determination, you'll also have to establish visitation. perhaps you're planning for primary physical custody with one parent and visitation every other weekend, holidays, and school vacations for the other parent—the more details you can include in the visitation schedule, the better it will be for the final divorce decree.

Define How Disagreements Will Be Handled

In every parenting relationship, there will be disagreements and differing opinions about how to handle certain decisions. When you're co-parenting, those disagreements can seem even more challenging. If you have a relationship that's strained and difficult, you need a clearly defined process for settling these disputes. Determine how you and the other parent will come to a settled determination on anything that you aren't in agreement on and clearly define it in your custody agreement so that you have legal recourse.

Set Expectations For Electronic Communication

In a society where electronic communication has become a primary source of contact for people, you'll need to have a policy in place for dealing with electronic communication between your children and the two of you. In particular, you should define what types of contact are acceptable when the child is with the other parent so that neither parent reaches out excessively and takes away from the time the child should be spending with the parent they are currently with.

Talk with a child custody lawyer at a firm such as Mobile Divorce Law Firm for more information.