The end of a relationship can be a very traumatic event, and for some couples, it can be difficult to maintain focus on all the issues that need to be addressed. The stress of constantly disagreeing with a spouse or partner can lead to poor decisions, which can have a major impact once the relationship ends.
For couples who have children, there is even more pressure, as the parents will need to discuss how they want to approach child custody and parenting time. This is an extremely important decision, and is often very difficult for the couple to discuss. Some couples may be committed to working with one another to find the right agreement for their situation, while others may encounter serious challenges in finding an agreement that meets the needs and concerns of both parents.
When couples work on these agreements on their own, they frequently make very costly errors that can have a very negative effect on the ability of the parents to be able to work together for the long-term. Any of these oversights or mistakes can lead to significant disagreements, which may require a modification of the original agreements in place.
Even if all of the potentially deal-breaking issues are resolved, there are still minor concerns that need to be addressed to prevent a communication breakdown. For example, schedules can change on a moment’s notice. If possible, the parents should have a plan in place that discusses what should be done in these situations. This will prevent confusion, and also help the child have a better idea what will be happening on any given day.
Parents may also want to consider the amount of contact that each is allowed to have with the child when the child is with the other parent. Some parents do not allow any phone calls or texts, which may end up actually hurting the child. However, it may be wise to place limits on the frequency of contact, and it is important to include this information in the agreements being made. This helps all parties understand what is and is not permitted.
Effective co-parenting takes a commitment from both parties to make all agreements work. This means putting aside any bad feelings or bitterness that may have resulted from the end of the relationship. It is important to keep the children out of the middle of these disputes, and instead focus on finding an agreement that allows both parties to spend valuable time with the kids.
If you need assistance creating a child custody agreement and parenting plan that will work long-term for both you and your children, speak to an experienced family law attorney in your area. An attorney can provide you with the guidance that you need at such a difficult time, which can help you focus on spending quality time with your children.