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What do you need to know when sharing child custody?

When a divorce leads to a battle, children typically turn out to be the losers. As parents engage in a war of words during the course of a divorce, children can be emotionally and psychologically wounded. And this is true throughout the country, including in California. In keeping the best interest of the child in mind, it is best to come up with a child custody arrangement with both spouses behaving decently and not emotionally, similar to business associates.

A couple may have several questions regarding child custody. If a couple has a joint custody, is it necessary to agree at every stage of the process? The answer is no. If parents share legal custody, each parent has the right to make their own independent decisions. However, to avoid landing in the court again, it is better to communicate and cooperate.

As a child can get attached to a caregiver in many cases, especially instances involving toddlers and infants, the child should spend close to equal time with both parents. With older children, the concept can be slightly different; older children are typically more comfortable with a consistent schedule. keeping the best interest of the child in mind should always be the primary concern. As consistency helps the parents as well, it is best to devise a regular schedule, and stick to the visitation plan.

When coming up with a visitation plan, a parent should consider the quality of their relationship. To not confuse or harm the children, meetings between the parents should be cordial and respectful.

Source: Courts.CA.gov, "Custody & Parenting Time FAQs," Accessed on Dec.16, 2014

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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