A child custody arrangement will affect a family's life for a very long time. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to change the terms of this agreement. Therefore, a divorcing couple should spend a great deal of time pondering what they believe is best for their child.
Unfortunately, most parents do not see eye to eye on what exactly this ideal situation is. Fortunately, in many situations, a child custody attorney can negotiate an agreement between the couple.
However, in instances where divorce attorneys are not able to help, the decision may move to court. In this event, final arrangements may not be reached for months, if not years.
Legal Custody is the authority to make decisions for and on your children. Joint legal custody is when parents share that authority.
As such, it is ideal for parents to agree upon a child custody arrangement as soon as possible. When determining the specifics of a child custody settlement, and what living situation is best for a child, the following should be discussed:
- Schools – One parent may choose to move into separate school districts, which could separate a child from his or her friends. Staying in the same school may be a deciding factor in a child custody arrangement.
- Religion – Religious differences are often the cause of divorce. A settlement may include information on the future of a child's spiritual development.
- Health Insurance – After divorce, both parents may have a health insurance policy. It will help to determine which parent can supply better benefits and if it that particular policy best for the child.
- Doctors – A pediatrician can have a serious impact on a child's well-being. Which doctor to see will have to be discussed?
Sometimes a child is old enough to have opinions on what is best for them. In these instances, their desires will also be taken into consideration.