Mothers facing child custody cases must ensure that they are fully aware of what is going on. Understanding some basic points gives you a good foothold into what you need to consider as you are working toward the goal of a child custody order that works for your child.
#1: Mediation is possible
You and your ex-husband can work together to get a child custody agreement set. The child custody agreement still has to go before the court for approval. Mediation gives you some control over what the order says.
#2: A comprehensive order is best
The more in-depth the child custody order is, the better it will work. You must refer to this document for years to come. Making sure that it has everything from a base schedule for visitation to information about conflict resolution can help in the long run.
#3: Make plans for summer and special days
Make plans for who will have the children on holidays, summer vacation days and other special days. When you go through mediation, be willing to compromise on these days. If your family usually celebrates on Christmas Eve and your ex-husband's family celebrates on Christmas day, that might be the best Christmas schedule for your child.
#4: Child custody exchange should be covered
Decide ahead of time how the child custody exchange will work. Typically, it is better for the parent who has the child to bring the child to the other parent. This gives the child time to process the transition from one house to the other.
#5: Decision-making powers must be outlined
Plan who is going to make decisions for the child. This includes which parent will make choices for the child's schooling, medical care and other important points. Will you and your ex work together or will one parent hold all the power? Make sure you cover what will happen in emergency circumstances.
#6: Your child must be the focus
Don't use the child custody agreement as a way to get even with or get back at your ex-husband. Your child's needs must be the focus of the agreement. Think about what is best for your child and go from there.
#7: Modification is possible
Modification of a child custody order is possible if there are significant changes in circumstances. This might happen as your child gets older. Job changes, a big move and other similar circumstances might also warrant a modification.