How to Manage Child Custody Arrangements?


Parents must set up a custody arrangement when they are getting a divorce, and the arrangement is enforced through the court. Both parents must agree to the terms, or they will need a custody hearing to determine who gets custody. If they have to go to a hearing, the judge makes all decisions for them.

Setting Up A Parenting Plan

A parenting plan defines when the noncustodial parent will get the child for visitation. Typically, a schedule is set up that indicates when they pick up their child or when the custodial parent drops them off to the noncustodial parent. For example, they may pick up their child after school on Friday and drop them off at 5 pm on Sunday.

The schedule must be set up by the parents and clearly defined to prevent disputes later. When making a decision about child custody, the parents must be decisive and stick to the plan they set up. If they can’t agree on a custody arrangement, they have other options.

Can the Parents Agree to the Terms of the Arrangement?

If the parents can agree to the terms of the agreement, the divorce is simpler, and they won’t need court involvement. While they will have to wait the standard waiting period for the finalization of the divorce, the couple won’t have to spend more money on attorney fees or other expenses.

If they cannot agree to the terms of the divorce or about custody, the couple will need to follow a few additional steps. Mediation is one of these steps.

Mediation Strategies for Parents

During mediation, the couple meets with their respective attorneys, and they discuss the terms of the divorce. They have a chance to negotiate the terms and find a solution that works for both of them. In a divorce, they are dividing their lives, and they will need to decide on custody to set up a parenting plan. If their efforts are not fruitful, the parents will need to attend a custody hearing.

A Child Custody Hearing

A child custody hearing enables both parents to present evidence as to why they are the more suitable choice for the child. A judge reviews all the evidence and considers the argument of both sides. At the end of the hearing, the judge makes the final decision and sets up the parenting plan according to the most appropriate solution for the child.

How is Child Support Determined?

Child support is determined according to the financial needs of the child. The calculations start with the income of both parents. The total number of children produced during the marriage plays a role in how much is required from the noncustodial parent. Child support and alimony won’t exceed around 60% of the noncustodial parent’s income.

Parents set up parenting plans together if they can agree to the terms of the child custody orders. Typically, they will get either joint or sole custody, and the noncustodial parent gets visitation with the children. Parents who need help with custody issues start by contacting an attorney now.