It is the reality that child custody cases can be extremely complex. There are all kinds of factors to consider when deciding where your child should live and how much parenting time each person should receive.
You have to think about factors such as:
- How far apart you and the other parent live
- Your child’s preferences, if they’re old enough to make them known
- The relationship your child has with each parent
- Each person’s ability to provide your child with a safe home environment
These and other factors must be a part of your discussion when you talk about custody of your child. You need to think about their best interests, which include factors that could influence their physical and mental health.
Getting your child’s perspective
One thing that can help you as you work on the custody schedule is thinking about your child’s perspective. What would they want to have happen if they could make the decision?
For example, your teenaged daughter may prefer to live with her mother the majority of the time due to the changes she’s going through. A younger child might like to see each parent as regularly as possible. Older teens might want more flexibility, so they can drive to whichever parent’s house is closer after school or work.
Discuss alternative custody options
It is often more difficult to come up with solutions for younger children because of the attention they require. You and your spouse should talk about alternative custody supports like babysitters or family who can watch your child. In some cases, grandparents may want a day or two a week with their grandchildren, too, which may need to play a role in your final custody arrangements.
Doing what’s right for your child requires you to be selfless as a parent. You and your spouse should think only about the best scenario for your child and put them first rather than worrying about getting more time or controlling custody when that decision may not be what’s best for your child.
Custody issues are complex. Learn about your state’s guidelines and your parental rights, so you can do what’s best for your situation.