One of the hardest parts about splitting up with your child’s other parent is brokering a visitation or child custody schedule with them. You two must understand that even though you may be bitter about your romantic relationship not working out, you shouldn’t let that affect your ability to make what’s in your child’s best interests a priority.
What different custody arrangements exist?
There are two types of custodial arrangements that exist; legal and physical custody. The former gives parents the right to make critical decisions regarding their child’s education, health and religion. Physical custody has to do more with where a child resides at any given time.
Deciding what custodial arrangement is best for your child
There’s no one size fits all approach when deciding what custodial arrangement is best for kids. Children have unique needs depending on their age and stage of development.
Infants and toddlers generally require more of their parents’ attention and time than older children do. School-aged kids tend to do well when they have consistent routines. Teens often have a significant amount of outside commitments in the community and can’t afford to disrupt their schedule by traveling between parents’ homes during the week.
How to effectively co-parent
While your focus should be on doing what’s in your kids’ best interests, you should be mindful of your needs as parents as well. If you don’t, then your parenting is going to suffer.
Any custodial schedule that you agree to should be one that you can follow. You may want to request your kids to coincide with your availability if you have free time during certain times or specific portions of the week. You should also do your best to accommodate your ex’s schedule, including allowing them to have your kids on the weekends if that’s best for them, and you can see them other times instead.
Deciding who gets the kids on holidays, for school breaks and during the summer can be a bit more challenging to sort out. A family law attorney here in Hollidaysburg may be able to step in and help you navigate difficult conversations such as these with your Pennsylvania ex so that you two can continue to focus on maintaining a cohesive front for your kids.