What About Custody After Divorce?
Whether you’re a mother or father, custody can be a difficult discussion to have in any separation. There’s bound to be disagreements with emotions running high, and it’s why an intermediary is sometimes a good idea.
Custody arrangements are something that needs to be agreed upon as part of a separation, but it’s important to note that those arrangements are not made as part of filing for a divorce.
If you’re in the process of separating but don’t know how the custody of your children will be decided – we’re here to help.
What is a Parenting Plan?
During divorce proceedings, the court itself does not make parenting orders based on the application. It only requires you to prove ‘arrangements for their day-to-day care, maintenance, and other aspects of their welfare’ have been made as part of the application process.
If both parties are able to agree on an arrangement for their children’s living, financial, health and education needs, a parenting plan can be written up and signed by both parties. The plan is used to outline the responsibilities of the parents.
While a parenting plan is not a legally enforceable agreement, it is usually a good option if the relationship ended well. It does not require the courts involvement, keeping costs down and allowing for flexibility between the parents, such as if your roster for work changed.
If an agreement cannot not be reached between the parents, a Parenting Order can be made through the courts. This is a separate legal process from a divorce and lets the court decide on the living and caring arrangements that would be in the best interests of the child.
The courts decision creates the outline of the order and can cover areas such as who the child lives with, how much time they spend with either parent, how major life decisions will be made and how the child can communicate with family members they are not living with.
Typically these orders are made when parents cannot reach an agreement on the child’s living situation after a divorce or in cases where a child is in danger or at risk.
Thankfully, not all divorces are accompanied by a court room battle for custody and being willing to negotiate with your ex-partner will save you both time and money.
But in the cases where an agreement can’t be reached, Family Law is there to guide the courts on what to consider and what resolution is right for the situation.
At Frost & Associates, Family Law is our area of specialty and we can provide the right advice for your case and help you understand how it applies to your circumstances.
If you have concerns or want to learn more about how custody is decided, get in touch for advice tailored to your situation.