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Creating a custody plan in 5 steps

Working through a child custody arrangement isn't always easy. Some parents really struggle with talking to one another. The reality is that their relationship is ending, and the additional stress of determining a child custody arrangement makes it hard to deal with the frustration and loss that comes with a divorce.

Parent should not feel badly if they need to ask their attorneys or third parties for assistance creating a custody schedule. This is one of the most important parts of the divorce, and getting the schedule right is important.

What are the steps to creating a custody arrangement?

There are a few steps that you can follow to create a custody arrangement. They include the following.

1. Discuss how you want to talk about custody

To start with, you and your ex-spouse should talk about how you'd like to get together to talk about custody. You might agree to start with a third-party mediator or to go through your attorneys with your preferred schedules. Whatever you decide, choose the path that is best for communication.

2. Put together your preferred schedule

The next step is to put together your own preferred schedule. Think about when you'd like to have your child and when you'd be happy with the other parent having custody. Keep one copy and give the other copy to the other parent.

3. Compare your preferences

Compare the schedules. Wherever they overlap can be the start of your new parenting plan and custody schedule. For example, if you both agree on the weekends, then that's a great place to start. Now, go day by day and discuss why you can or cannot have custody that day.

4. Get help with complicated situations

If you have a complicated custody situation, then it's a good idea to get some help. A mediator or your attorney will have plenty of ideas about how to arrange custody in unique ways. They've seen lots of cases like yours, so they'll be able to talk to you about arrangements that they've seen work for parents in the past.

5. Settle on a plan and get it approved

Once you have a plan that you're both satisfied with, it's important to get the court to approve it. Your attorneys can submit the custody arrangement so that it is cemented in place and you can move on to your next set of concerning matters.

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