Parents who get a divorce while they have children still living at home will need to work out a child custody plan with the other parent. In the past, these agreements usually followed a formula of one parent having primary custody while the other parent had the children every other weekend and for a couple of weeks during the summer.
The issue with that formula was the children could go two weeks without seeing the non-custodial parent. Fortunately, the flexibility of child custody agreements has increased in recent years. Now, you will need to work with your ex to come up with a plan.
There is a downside to this. You will have to determine how detailed the child custody agreement needs to be. This will depend on the circumstances of your case. Here are some points to consider:
Parenting style model
The type of parenting style model you are using has a direct impact on what kind of detail you need in the agreement. If you and your ex get along and are using a co-parenting model, you might not need as much detail since you will be working together to raise the children. If you don’t get along with your ex and are parallel parenting, you might need to spell out every detail in the agreement.
Details to consider
Your child custody agreement should have a plan for contentious matters. Having a plan for major holidays might be a good idea. This will let you check the custody agreement to see where the children will spend birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays that you celebrate.
You might also need to include information about the child custody exchange. Noting the time and location of the exchange might help. Remember that most children, especially younger ones, might do better if the parent who has the children brings them to the other parent.
Making special plans for early dismissals from school and vacations from school might also help. Knowing what you are responsible for now can help you in the future.
When issues arise
There is a chance that you and your ex won’t be able to come to an agreement about every decision related to child custody. You should have a plan for how these situations will be handled. An impartial third-party, such as a mediator or mutually trusted friend or family member, can help you work toward a solution to any issues that might come up.