Feb 19, 2012

A joint custody plan that works for both of you

If you and your husband live a tumultuous life and divorce seems to be the best solution not only for you, but also for your kids, it should be entered into with a clear head, a good lawyer and a willingness to be fair. Divorce can be a debilitating experience. If you think you had trouble just arguing over the bills before, you are now in for a fight. It is the kids up on the block. You are full of fear. Who are they going to choose? Are they going to suffer? Are they going to be scarred? One thing for sure, they will never forget it. Divorce is just the toughest thing for a child and the ones who suffer most are the children who struggle to understand why this is happening to them. They love both their parents; they don’t want to be separated. They don’t want to favor one parent over the other. The family structure has been interfered with. Against this backdrop, their interests and welfare should be considered and come first.

The amicable way forward

1                    This is going to be a tough one, but first you have to decide who the children are going to be with.
2                    Discuss week-end arrangements and school holidays and religious holidays and Christmas and come to an agreement as far as how long the children can be with the non-custodial parent during school breaks and holidays.
3                    Make sure you state in writing what times the children are to be picked up; this can become problematic if it is not addressed.
4                    Get out your laptop and list the children’s expenses: clothing, money for school projects, groceries, doctor appointments, school trips, school fees, allowances, and a small sum for contingencies.
5                    Discuss how the children are to be brought up as far as religion and culture. There are dietary laws, personal belief, and religious holidays that have to be respected.
6                    There is nothing wrong going to your places of worship with the children. Bible study and study of other books are good for children. By the time a child reaches three and four he should know who he is.
7                    Discuss the college you both want them to attend and meet with the principal. Don’t bring a new partner along.
8                    Agree on the kind of punishment the children are to receive when they step out of line and stick with what you have decided.
9                    In the event of an emergency decide who should be called if the two of you can’t be found, and provide telephone numbers.
10                Pick a lawyer, both of you, who can protect the interests of your children.

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