There are many things that you have to think about when you are ending a relationship. Whether you are in a same-sex relationship that involves children or a traditional marriage with children, you will have to work through child custody issues when the relationship ends.
Child custody matters can be decided in two primary ways. You and your ex might go through mediation to work through the issues and make decisions about the agreement. The alternative to this is that you can stand before a judge to have the court decide what the order will entail. If you are dealing with child custody matters and will go through mediation, consider these pointers.
Your children are the focus
You have to keep your children as the focus of the decisions you make. The court is going to consider what is in the child's best interests when it reviews the agreement to determine if it is suitable. Make sure that you are thinking about what is best for your child and not what is easier for you when you are trying to work through these issues.
Go beyond a custody and visitation schedule
The custody and visitation schedule is important, but there are other things that the custody agreement should cover. You should think about who is going to decide on education and medical care for the child. If you and your ex can work together, shared responsibility might work. This would enable parents to offer their opinions about the issues at hand and go from there to decide what happens. You should also determine what will happen if there are disagreements about the decisions.
Make plans for vacations and similar times
If your children are in school, you should make plans for what will happen when school is out. You should also determine how vacations are going to work. What notifications must be made? Where can each parent travel with the child? Are there restrictions that apply?
Make sure that you also discuss a schedule for holidays. You and your ex might split time with your child or you might opt to come together to celebrate holidays as one group.
In every decision, you need to think about how your child's life will be impacted by the outcome. This might help you to decide what options are appropriate. You should also remember that child custody orders might have to change as your son or daughter gets older. This is possible through child custody modifications.