When parents decide to separate, they need to make decisions about child custody. Because the parents are now living in different places, they need to figure out where and with whom the children will live and a schedule for the children visiting the other parent. The best way to address these issues is to create a parenting plan.

A parenting plan during separation will include the times the children will spend with each parent, any upcoming holidays and where the children will spend their time, and any other information that the parents want to include. The parents can create the plan together and then go to court and have it made into a temporary custody order. Or, each parent can create the plan they want and go to court and have the judge decide. It’s better if the parents can come to an agreement together though, rather than leaving it in the hands of the court.

To decide where the children will live, the parents need to think about stability. It is in the children’s best interest to have a stable environment–especially because there is a lot of change in their family circumstances. If possible, the children should still live in their home. This means that the parent who stays in the home will most likely be the custodial parent. If the parents want to eventually have joint custody, they will need to work up to that (there needs to be some time for the other parent to establish a household).

The parents should consider work and school schedules as they come up with a visitation schedule. It’s important that children have about the same contact with their parents as before. This means that if both parents were very involved in the children’s lives, the parent who moves out should have frequent visitation with the children. Always think of your children’s best interest–even if it means inconvenience in traveling and shuttling back and forth.

Once your schedule is figure out, decide with the other parent about any provisions you want about custody during separation. Neither parent should plan on taking the kids on vacation during this time, and both parents should plan on keeping the other parent up to date on addresses, phone numbers, school issues, etc. Start good communication now so it carries over as you make your permanent parenting plan.

If you can establish a good temporary parenting plan, it will help you as things become more permanent. The more you can make decisions about your children together, the better your plan will work out. So, make a parenting plan right after separation to help your child custody situation.

Discover how Custody X Change can help with child custody & separation by letting you create the best parenting plan for you and your children.

A shared parenting child custody agreement is made with the child’s best interest in mind. It’s important for parents to consider many factors that influence what will be in their child’s best interest. One factor that should be taken into account in a shared parenting agreement is the child’s age. Here are some suggestions for making shared parenting work with a baby ages nine to eighteen months.

A lot of development occurs in a baby from nine to eighteen months. This is the transition from an infant to a toddler. During this time, a baby learns important motor skills like crawling, standing, and walking. They also learn to grab things and move their bodies. They start to make sounds and to communicate more with noises and simple words. They also start to express emotions.

Babies need consistent and regular schedules to thrive during this time. A shared custody agreement for a child this age needs to take that regularity into account. Parents should make sure that they both have the same routine with the child. Naps, meals, bathing, and other activities should be on the same schedule in both houses. In order to make this happen parents need to have excellent communication and keep records of exactly what goes on during visits.

The time scheduled for each parent should be adequate for each parent to act as a caregiver. This means that visits should be long enough for parents to feed the child, diaper them, play with the baby, and put them to sleep. A baby connects to the parent during these activities.

The baby should also have frequent interaction with both parents. There shouldn’t be a break from either parent for more than three or four days. This should allow the child to be familiar with each parent.

If a parent hasn’t previously been involved in caretaking activities for the child, the parents should set up a schedule that builds up to the parent having more involvement. This means that there should be frequent, short visits where the parent can interact more with the child. As the child and the parent become more comfortable with the routine the visits can be extended and there can be overnight visits.

Taking the child’s age into account will help parents create the best custody agreement for the child. This can also help make shared parenting successful because both parents will have the optimal conditions for building a strong relationship with the baby. This can be a great foundation for connecting with the child throughout the child’s life.

Learn how Custody X Change can help make shared parenting successful and find out how to make the best custody agreement for your child.

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Visitation schedules and parenting plans were created for the benefit of children.  Many parents seem to forget that.  A child has a natural right to spend time with both parents.  The parent’s divorce or separation should affect that right as little as possible.

When working on your parenting and visitation agreement, you must consider each child’s individual needs.  All children have some similar basic needs: food, shelter, clothing and education, just to mention a few.  However, as children grow, their needs change.  The needs of a 6 month old infant are totally different than those of a 5 year old or a 13 year old kid.  When working on your parenting and visitation agreement, you must consider each child’s individual needs.

As a result of your divorce or separation, your children have already gone through a lot of changes.  Changes in general, as you well know, can be very challenging for anyone, most especially for kids. When planning a visitation calendar you should try to maintain your children’s basic routine.  The fewer changes your children have to undergo, the safer and therefore more confident they will feel.  School, soccer, karate, swimming, and ballet classes should be continued and incorporated to your parenting agreement. Their extracurricular activities should remain the same, if at all possible.

Each child experiences a different developmental and emotional stage, depending on their age.  The older kids are, the more you should take into account their preferences.  When working on your parenting and visitation schedule you should consider your older kids’ needs first.  Younger kids tend to adapt to changes easier.

Teenagers are already going through enough changes as a result of their identification and personality development.  Teenagers can become fearful, shy, isolated, anxious or depressed, as they go through this phase of life.  They can exhibit behavioral problems, mood swings and anger issues that can be aggravated by an unwanted or unsolicited visitation schedule.  Any visitation calendar should be made with your kid’s needs in mind first.  Everything else, must be considered in terms of how is it going to benefit or affect the children’s current schedule.  Of course, the parents’ working schedule, job and home locations will have to be considered, as well.

Once you have come with a fair and convenient parenting and visitation plan, you should keep it for as much time possible.  You must be aware however, that the schedule is going to go through many changes as your children grow.  Be aware of your children’s moods and reaction during each transitional age.  If you notice a problematic or a drastic change in behavior, it might be because it is time for a change in the visitation schedule.  There are many times when teenagers prefer to go to a baseball game with their friends rather than visiting a parent.  Do not take it personally.  Remember, custody and visitation schedules are not about you, they are about your kids.

If you’re thinking about changing your parenting and visitation plan, the best practice is to listen to your children’s opinion before you move to request the change.

Find out what you need to know about creating a parenting plan and discover how Custody X Change can help you make your perfect custody agreement.

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