If you and your spouse are moving forward with divorce, you probably have concerns about how this choice will impact your kids. To minimize the disruption to their lives and to provide a sense of continuity of lifestyle, parents may work together to craft a plan that suits the unique needs of their family. A custom-tailored custody order can be more sustainable and personal than one dictated by an impersonal family law court.
Crafting a custody plan can be a tricky process. Strong emotions can drive decision-making, and this may actually lead to choices that are not beneficial long-term. When making choices that will impact custody, it may be helpful to ask certain questions that will allow you to consider all options and think long term. You should give careful consideration to every aspect of a custody plan before agreeing to terms that will affect your family for years to come.
What questions should you ask?
Certain questions can help you think clearly about what will really make your custody plan sustainable and beneficial for the youngest members of your family. They may also provide clarity on matters you and the other parent find difficult to resolve. These include:
- Where will your children live? How children will split their time between the parents’ homes is the center of a child custody agreement. While you want as much time with your kids as possible, it is in the interests of children to be able to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce.
- Who will pay for things the kids need? Child support allows the non-custodial parent to share in the financial responsibility of caring for his or her kids. However, parents may need to discuss how they will pay for unexpected or small, daily expenses.
- Who will make decisions for the kids? One important factor is deciding how parents will share decision-making responsibility for the kids. This includes choices regarding religious upbringing, education, health care and more.
The answers to these questions can help you build a framework for a custody plan that prioritizes the best interests of your children while still protecting your parental rights. Before you agree to terms or make decisions that will impact your family for years to come, it may be helpful to discuss your goals and concerns with an experienced Mississippi family law attorney.