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Child custody decisions: How are these made?

If you are going through divorce and have a child with the other parent, you may be concerned about the impact this will have on your relationship.

It's important to do what is best for your child, all the while making decisions that will also work in your favor.

When you understand how child custody decisions are made, it's much easier to move forward in the appropriate manner.

Generally speaking, custody decisions are made in one of the following ways:

  • The parents work together outside of court, such as through mediation, to work out the details of custody and visitation. By creating a parenting agreement, both individuals will know what is expected of them in the future.
  • The court makes a decision. This typically comes into play if you are unable to work things out on your own. It's not ideal, but there are times when litigation is the only option.

Take control of the process

Although you may not be getting along with the other parent, mediation is something you should definitely consider. With this approach, both individuals have more control over the process.

You can talk about the finer details of the custody agreement, negotiating with one another until you have something that you can live with.

When your case goes to court, you lose most of this control. Instead, it's up to the judge to review your case and decide where both individuals fit in. Depending on how long it takes, this can also be more costly.

A divorce will change your life in many ways, including the relationship you have with your child. But this doesn't mean you can't be a part of his or her life. As long as you learn more about child custody, including how decisions are made, you should be able to end up in a happy place that allows you to continue your relationship.

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