What should you do first when you and your spouse decide to divorce but haven’t yet told the children?
Generally, the best thing is to first agree on what the custody and parenting time arrangement will look like.
Children generally thrive on consistency, structure and routine. Above all, they need stability and security and know what they can expect from both of you.
Therefore, before telling the children, get clear with your spouse on answers to the big questions your children will likely ask.
These can include:
- Where will they live?
- Will they stay in the same school?
- How often and when will they spend time with each of you?
- How will holidays be spent?
It’s generally best for children if you and your spouse are able to reach a custody and parenting time agreement without court intervention.
Therefore, it’s common for lawyers to prepare an agreement proposing to resolve the custody and parenting time issues involving your children. These issues can include, for instance:
- where the children will primarily reside;
- how decisions on the children’s health, education and general welfare will be made;
- where the children will attend school; and
- how the parenting time arrangement will be implemented.
You can get a head start and save legal fees by using this Custody and Parenting Time Agreement template.
The template includes sample provisions for many important issues involving your children that you might not have considered.
In general, agreements reached by divorcing parents out of court on custody and parenting time for children are preferable to deferring to the Court. Reaching an agreement is generally less costly, both financially and emotionally.
Significantly, parents themselves are generally in the best position to determine the best arrangement for their children.
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