Custody arrangements after divorce may make you stressed if you did not get the type of agreement that suits your needs. Sometimes, people take the "easy way out" when it comes to crafting a workable custody arrangement post-divorce. Instead of really thinking about their needs and those of their children, they use a cookie-cutter approach.
When going through the divorce process, you may want it to end sooner rather than later. Take special care to understand the differences in custody situations before settling on something that does not suit your situation.
Shared legal custody
These days, many divorce custody cases in North Carolina resolve with both parents sharing legal custody. Do you know what this means? When parents both have legal custody of children, they both have the right to make decisions for them. It also means they both have the right to:
- Set and attend doctor appointments
- Take them from school and meet with teachers
- Make emergency decisions without consulting the other parent first
Legal custody also means communication between parents is essential when making plans regarding out-of-state travel and living arrangements because both parents have the right to take children out of state.
Shared physical custody
You may wind up with shared legal custody, with one parent having a majority of physical custody. Physical custody is not always equally split, and, in many cases, is not. This may have something to do with one parent's work schedule or just the distance between the two households. If one parent lives further away from the children's school, it is unlikely an equal physical custody arrangement will work.
When negotiating your final custody plan, keep in mind that it is a guide that may need frequent revisions. Putting emotions to the side, however, enables you to help facilitate a positive relationship between the children and the other parent without stress or conflict.