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Child Custody Archives

What should you include in your parenting plan?

As part of your custody agreement that designates how you and your co-parent will share custody of your children, it's important to draw up a parenting plan. This plan will provide more detail about how the two of you will deal with various parenting issues as your children grow up.

Your kids' school calendar and your parenting time schedule

If you and your co-parent are in the process of working out your child custody agreement, you're likely determining how the kids will be dividing their time or spending alternate years with each of you around major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving as well as during spring and vacations. However, there are a lot of other times during the school year where your kids will have a half-day or full day off that you might not be considering.

Child exchange options when co-parents can not be around each other

Among the most crucial details to work out as you and your co-parent negotiate your custody agreement is how to handle the exchanges of your children. If you will continue to live near each other and share custody, these exchanges may be frequent.

Why parents should seek a 'right of first refusal' clause

If you'll be sharing custody of your children with your co-parent, you likely want every additional opportunity to spend time with them that you can get -- especially if you're going to be the noncustodial parent. If so, or even if you just want to minimize the amount of time your kids spend with other caregivers, you should consider seeking a "right of first refusal" provision in your custody agreement.

Recognizing passive-aggressive co-parenting behaviors

Not all co-parents' battles involve yelling, swearing, insults and turning the kids against their other parent. Passive-aggressive behavior, however, can be just as damaging to the co-parenting relationship -- and ultimately to your kids -- as regular fighting.

How divorced parents can help their kids enjoy the holidays

Nothing can test divorced parents' resolve to push their differences to the back burner and focus on what's best for their kids like the holidays. It's best if you've included details for the holidays in your custody agreement and parenting plan. This gives you a framework for how your children will divide their time. However, it's always helpful when both parents can be a bit flexible.

Presenting evidence that a co-parent has alcohol or drug issues

You're battling your co-parent for sole custody of your children. You may even believe that any visitation they have with the kids needs to be supervised. Your co-parent has a drug and/or alcohol problem that you believe makes them incapable of safely and responsibly caring for the children -- even for short periods. Your co-parent is fighting you on this. They want shared custody or perhaps unrestricted visitation. Therefore, it looks like you'll need to take the matter before a judge to decide.

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