Navigating Child Custody in a DC Divorce
When you are thinking about separating from your spouse or have already separated and you have children, your main concern is usually how to best navigate the situation with the least impact on the children.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is a written Agreement that spells out the time-sharing schedule for your children; how decisions will be made about issues affecting the children; how disputes between parents will be resolved; and defines the responsibilities of each parent as you move forward to co-parent your children.
Negotiating a custody and parenting plan so that you and your spouse can co-parent your children in an amicable way is best for the children.
Remember that the needs of you and your spouse may take a backseat to the needs of your children.
When negotiating a parenting and child custody plan, it is essential to consider that you will be co-parenting with your spouse for a long time and you will be both be attending events for your children, such as sporting events, music recitals, graduations, weddings, etc. It is best for your children that they see that their parents are able to get along in spite of the fact that you may no longer be living in the same residence.
Consider the Practical Aspects for DC Child Custody Arrangements
Unless there is a substantially valid reason not to have a shared custodial arrangement, in DC shared custody is the norm.
Shared physical custody takes many different forms. There are schedules that result in an equal sharing of time and some that do not. The appropriate schedule for your family will be determined based on what is best for the children and what works best based on the work schedule of each parent and the distance between their homes. It is best if you are able to negotiate the parenting plan and schedule so you maintain control of your own lives.
Creating a DC Child Custody and Parenting Plan for the Children’s Best Interests
A good parenting plan will address issues such as:
- Regular time-sharing schedule and holiday and summer schedules
- Communication between you and your spouse (ex-spouse) about issues that arise related to the children
- Communication with the children when you are not scheduled to be with them
- Travel with the children
- Medical and mental health decisions about the children
- Access to school and medical records
- Other issues to make the co-parenting process smooth