Sharing custody? Work through custody issues together

You and your spouse decided that you’d want to share custody following your divorce. It’s what you think is best for your children, and you believe it will make it easier for both of you to work and live more comfortably.

When you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse share custody, it’s called joint custody. A joint custody implementation plan will be needed. It should go over important issues such as:

  • Custody schedules
  • Rights to school and medical records
  • Transportation to and from each parent’s home or other locations
  • Relocation
  • School events
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Out of state travel
  • Out of town travel
  • Communication preferences and requirements

It may be tricky to work through each of these issues. For example, if you have trouble coming up with a custody schedule, then you may find yourselves at a standstill. Try to work through what you can. A good starting point is to get at least some days of the schedule figured out while also discussing other terms, such as who drops off the children or who picks them up. Discuss travel and taking your child out of town. Talk about how you’re going to handle school events and if both of you can come without issues.

It’s a good idea to work through as many of these decisions as you can before talking to your attorney to further negotiate. If you and your spouse aren’t able to come up with a solution you can agree on, then the case may need to go before a judge. Most people advise against this unless it’s absolutely necessary because the decision is out of your hands once the judge is put into the position to make a decision for you.