Divorcing with children involves a more defense. In past generations, fathers rarely sought full custody of their children. Children spent more time with their mothers and fathers understood that’s where they would be most comfortable. That is no longer the case. Fathers today spend a lot more time with their children starting at infancy and fathers are more likely than ever before to be stay-at-home parents. When it comes to where children will live after a couple divorces, parents have some options.
Agree to Joint Custody
Family courts typically prefer for parents to agree to a shared parenting arrangement that allows children to have continued contact with both of their parents. A Child Custody Lawyer in Athens TN could help a client negotiate with their former spouse to create a schedule that works for both parents as well as the children. If the parents don’t go into the process in agreement about joint custody, this process could take some time.
Agree to Sole Custody
In some cases, both parents agree the children should live with one parent. This could be because the other parent travels a lot and cannot commit to a shared parenting agreement or because one has a mental illness or substance abuse problem that would make it difficult for them to care for their children on their own. Sole custody could give children stability but it could also be confusing to them and may make them feel abandoned by the other parent. A Child Custody Lawyer in Athens TN might help a parent make a plan to ensure their former spouse remains active in their childrens’ lives.
Allow the Court to Decide
Sometimes, the parents aren’t able to agree. In these cases, the court may need to make a decision as to where the couple’s children will live. Some judges and magistrates ask parents to go back to mediation to make another attempt to come to an agreement. If they absolutely cannot agree, there may be a trial to determine custody of minor children.
Ideally, parents agree to an arrangement that is appropriate for everyone involved. That allows children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents and reduces animosity between them. Parents who need help setting up a custody agreement can Click here to get more information.