Divorce is a stressful process that can mean additional strain on your family during the worst possible time. When you divorce and you have children, it means putting their safety and security at the top of the to-do list during the divorce process. Negotiating custody of your minor children can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process if you and your spouse are estranged or aren’t speaking. If the process of determining who gets custody of your children after the marriage has ended is so difficult, how is custody decided during the divorce process? Who gets the kids while the divorce is being finalized? The answer depends on your relationship with your spouse and your ability to resolve the matter.
Negotiate Temporary Custody Terms Yourself
When couples can agree on the terms of their divorce, their divorce is considered mostly amicable. Being able to see eye-to-eye on issues can make it easier to find a temporary custody solution that will work for you both. Disagreements about alimony, child support, or property division are expected, but most couples find solutions to problems as they work through the process. When creating a temporary custody agreement, it’s best to begin with a schedule that works best for the kids. It’s better for your children if you agree on a temporary custody arrangement before you tell them about the divorce so you can reassure them that their life will continue as before in the most important ways.
Temporary custody agreements typically start by considering:
- Each home’s distance from the children’s school
- Each parent’s ability to spend time with the kids
- Availability to drive the children to extracurricular activities
- The children’s preference
Request a Temporary Custody Court Order
Once you realize you are filing for divorce, you can have your attorney help you begin crafting a temporary custody agreement. As we mentioned earlier, it’s best if this was created with your co-parent’s input. You will need to file this request with the court. You are asking for a temporary custody agreement to be put into place that will expire when your divorce is finalized. The temporary custody order will be replaced by your divorce settlement agreement, which includes a permanent custody arrangement.
When creating your temporary custody order, you should include:
- The type of order you want the court to issue (temporary custody pending divorce)
- The type of custody you want to be ordered (e.g., joint custody)
- Supporting documents for your request
Your spouse will receive a copy and have a chance to make changes or submit their own document. A judge will review the case materials, and your legal representative will let you know the next steps.
Get Help With Your Custody Issues
Keeping your child’s best interest at heart is the most important thing you can do in a divorce. The living arrangements -even temporary ones, can be stressful for children as they adjust to a new routine. You and your spouse can work together to make these difficult decisions if you start from a place of mutual concern for the children. The temporary custody agreement should be fair and feasible. The changes shouldn’t burden your children, and if this initial plan doesn’t work, it’s acceptable to go back to the drawing board. Finalizing a divorce isn’t an exact science, so it could be quick if you agree on most terms, but it could be a protracted process if you don’t. So, it’s best to be prepared with a temporary custody agreement that meets the needs of your everyone. At Palmer Rodak& Associates, we can help you begin the divorce process by creating a temporary custody agreement. Call us today at (760) 573-2223 to schedule a consultation.