The commonness of divorce within the United States has led to approximately half of all children in the country witnessing the end of their parents’ marriage. Ages of children at the time of divorce vary, but regardless of age, multiple studies have shown that keeping the life of a child stable after the divorce is finalized will aid the transition process. Having a child who is attending school can add to the complexity of negotiating custody agreements that both parents are satisfied with. Each situation is different, but there are tips for negotiating custody agreements involving school age children that should always be kept in mind.
Focus on Routine
Children who are used to going to school understand and accept routines. They are used to having their daily or weekly activities scheduled and will respond better to custody arrangements than younger children. When working towards an acceptable agreement, focus on creating a routine that your child will be able to adjust to and that will not need multiple adjustments. Remember, changing your custody agreement after it is finalized will require notifying the court. Depending on the age of your child, it is a good idea to involve them in the discussion to decrease their chances of objecting to the agreement after it becomes court ordered.
Include Time for Activities
The ideal custody agreement will provide both parents equal time with their children so that the child is able to benefit from having a healthy relationship with each parent. However, parents must understand that children benefit from participating in extracurricular activities. Participating in extracurricular activities increases chilren’s self-esteem, encourages them to interact positively with other children, and help them cope with the divorce of their parents. Including time for children to participate in extracurricular activities is difficult since it reduces the time they can spend with a parent, but in the long run it is worth it.
One of the most important parts of co-parenting after a divorce is keeping the channels of communication open. After a divorce, two adults may not be eager to speak with each other, but they must speak in order to look out for the best interests of their children. Parents need to discuss their children’s education, behavior, activities, and other issues that occur over the course of a school career. If communication during the divorce was contentious, adding provisions that require parents to keep each other notified about certain issues may protect you and ensure your children do not have any part of their education or school career overlooked.
Contact an Attorney
Creating a custody agreement is one of the most important parts of finalizing a divorce that involves minor children. Any omissions or errors could cause both adults to spend more time and money attending additional hearings until all problems are resolved. The child custody agreement and visitation attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to work with you to create an agreement that fits your individual situation. Contact one of our Atlanta metro area offices today to schedule a consultation.