Divorce can be hard for parents and children. Many parents fear that divorce would mean they can no longer see their children. However, parents can work together to decide on a child custody arrangement and parenting plan that can allow each parent to stay in their children’s lives.
A child custody arrangement determines a few factors. For starters, a child custody arrangement can decide each parent’s physical and legal custody. Physical custody decides where a child lives and their daily routine. Legal custody decides which parent makes important decisions for their children, such as education, medical care, dietary restrictions and religious upbringing. Whether parents can or can’t work together, a child custody plan may be considered sole, joint or parallel. Here’s what each of these means:
Working with the other parent
Physical and legal custody is split between parents who have joint custody. Each parent will likely have some rights to determine how their children are raised. Custody schedules are also typically split so children can see their parents on rotating days or weeks.
Minimizing conflict with the other parent
Many parents have conflicts with their children’s other parents after divorce. Parents can limit how much they communicate with their children’s other parents by parallel parenting, which can allow each parent to keep their physical and legal custody rights but set unique rules for their own households.
In some cases, one parent may have most or all of the physical and legal custody rights. This parent will make all decisions for their children while the other parent may have limited visitation times, supervised visitation or none at all.
Parents going through divorce may need to learn their legal options to help decide what plan works in the best interest of their children.