Child custody is one of the most difficult issues to address in a divorce. Both parents want to have as much time with their kids as possible, but a lengthy and contentious court battle over this matter could bring more stress for the youngest members of the family.
It is for this reason that some Kentucky parents choose to work on a custody agreement outside of court. Litigation is not always necessary, and it may be possible to develop a beneficial and sustainable parenting plan through discussions and negotiations. If you choose this option, however, it can be beneficial to seek an understanding of how you can protect your parental rights and how you can avoid mistakes.
A thoughtful plan works better for everyone
One of the most common mistakes people make with a parenting plan is failing to be very thorough and thoughtful in their considerations. Leaving out important details or allowing emotions to drive decision making can lead to additional complications and problems in the future. Some of the things you would be wise to consider as part of your plan include the following:
- Visitation schedules, including visiting with extended family and holiday visitation
- Custody details, such as how the two parents will deal with legal custody responsibilities
- Where the child will live, how often he or she will go between homes and how the procedures for drop-off and pick-up will work
- How parents will deal with unexpected issues and disputes in the future
It is also important to address and include considerations for special issues that may be unique to your family. For example, if your child has special medical needs, include provisions for his or her care. If you have an unusual work schedule, include a visitation schedule that allows for your odd work hours. You have the right to work with the other parent to craft a plan that works for every member of the family.
Protecting the best interests of the kids
The ultimate goal of any parenting plan or custody agreement is to protect the best interests of the kids. No one knows your family like you do, and working together on a plan could be the key to ensuring a stable and secure future for your children.
It can be helpful to seek a complete evaluation of your case in order to understand your options, as well as receive guidance regarding how to negotiate carefully and remain aware of your parental rights.