Child custody confirms which parent will have custody of the child and in effect confirms who the child will be living with. Child custody battles can often be difficult especially where one parent is adamant on not allowing the other parent any custody of their children. In such circumstances, the parent who is fighting for joint custody will need to prove that they are capable of looking after their child and their day to day needs. Parents may often be able to agree on joint child custody.
Joint child custody is where the child will spend time with both parents. This does not necessarily mean that the child will spend equal time with both parents.
Communication is the key when looking to obtain joint child custody
Parents who are looking to obtain joint child custody should communicate with the other parent at their earliest convenience. This would allow you to establish what issues if any will arise to enable you to prepare to tackle them prior to the matter going any further. This will also allow a parent wanting joint child custody to gather information and evidence which will support their case. Kabir family law has noted that often parents who can effectively communicate with each other are able to resolve issues between themselves without the need of court intervention.
If the matter cannot be agreed amicably between the parents, then by carrying out such a discussion’s parents will be able to prepare ahead for any court proceedings. Parents will already be well placed to know what problems they are likely to encounter in joint custody issues and will be able to tackle these issues better.
Set aside any negative feelings regarding the other parent
We understand that following a separation parents can often be hurt and angry as well as carry other feelings of bitterness and hatred. However, it is extremely important that such feelings are not portrayed as this could paint a negative picture. Instead of exchanging these feelings with each other when considering joint child custody, parents should work on what is best for the children and attempt to work together for the sake of the children.
Parents should set aside their feelings by venting these out to friends, other family members or therapists and not to your children or your former partner. It is extremely important that parents remain focused on. Despite the feelings of anger and resentment, parents to remember that the purpose for which they are working together is for the welfare and benefit of their children.
In order to try and successfully get joint child custody parents should avoid putting children in the middle of their feelings and disagreements. Parents should avoid using their children to convey messages to the other parent. This will put the children at the center of your adult conflict. In order to work in the best interests of the children, they should be kept away from all the conflict.
Parents should also keep their issues to themselves. This can be achieved by not making negative statements or comments about their former partner to the children. Parents should also avoid putting children in situations where they feel they have to choose between both parents. It is important to note that the child has a right to a relationship with both parents and parents should work together where possible to ensure this right is not taken away from the children.
Consider mediation if you cannot reach an agreement
Following a separation parents may not be on amicable terms and any communication they attempt might not be successful. Sometimes an input and conversation from a neutral party maybe all that is needed to help progress matters. These days family law practices are able to provide mediation or are able to recommend mediators who may be of assistance. Independent and impartial mediators will be able to listen to the concerns and issues raised by both parents and will be able to promote and encourage them to negotiate and attempt to reach an agreement. If the joint custody matter was to proceed to the court, the courts will require evidence of the parents having attended and attempted mediation before they can look to deal with the matter.
Determine the best interests of children
As with all child matters, it is important to consider the best interests of children, especially when considering joint child custody. It is important to note that if a child custody matter proceeds to a court with the parents being unable to reach an amicable agreement then the courts will consider the best interests and welfare of a child above anything else. It is therefore vital for parents wishing to obtain joint child custody to clearly note and evidence how their child residing with them can be in the child’s interests.
Provide evidence of a strong relationship with the child
Often linked with the best interests of a child is how strong of a relationship the child has with the parent who is making an application for child custody. It is therefore important that a parent is able to show their involvement in the day to day lives of their children, this can be by regularly attending the child’s school or attending medical appointments with the children. Parents will also need to show how strong their bond is with their children. Quite often if a parent has a strong relationship with their child and the child is dependent on that parent then this could be helpful when considering joint custody.
Whilst it can be difficult to obtain joint child custody, it is not impossible. Especially given the fact that the courts understand the importance of both parents in a child’s life and they look to promote the idea of joint child custody or shared parenting. If you are struggling to reach an agreement on joint child custody then you can look to take advice and assistance from family lawyers who can guide you and possibly assist you with making applications to the family court.