Child Custody Issues

By Staff Writer

What child custody issues should you be concerned with as you negotiate the terms of your divorce? First and foremost, you should consider your child's individual requirements, both practical and emotional. The clearest way to see your child's needs, without being blinded by your own emotion, is to simply write down your child's daily schedule.

Yes, it's an easy step, and pretty foolproof. If you and your spouse have been getting into arguments about whether your child needs this, or that, or can't live without this, or that, instead of blowing a fuse, sit down and simply write down your child's daily life. The basic nuts and bolts of weekly activities will bring a healthy dose of reality into all your discussions, and make both of you realize what is actually needed to make your child's life work on a day-to-day basis. A separation and divorce are a wrenching change for a family; it's important to keep as much of the normal daily routine for your child as possible, to give your child some security through the process.

The second big child custody issue is how you envision your own life after the divorce. You need to sit down and write down what you think your weekly routine will be. Are you going to move? If so, where? Will you stay at your present job? If you've been a homemaker, will you get a job? These questions may seem overwhelming, but try to answer them as best you can. You won't be able to work out a viable child custody schedule until both you and your spouse are honest about what your post-divorce life will be like.

Child Custody Issues--They Can Be Solved
Child custody issues only become barriers to divorce settlements when parents are unrealistic. If both parents make an honest attempt to visualize their child's daily schedule, and their own, and fit custody and visitation to that reality, then a solution can be found without undue stress and recrimination. Be realistic also about the amount of time and energy you will need to care for your children as a single parent with no adult back-up.