Negotiating Child Custody During a Divorce

When considering divorce, if you have children, one thing that may give you pause is the child custody process that is sure to follow. It will be important for you and your partner to always keep your children’s interests and needs at the forefront. Unfortunately, they can easily get lost when emotions are running high and each parent is vying for contact with their child. There are a number of custody agreements you and your ex may come to, however, when couples struggle to come together it their decision making, finalizing a divorce can take longer than expected. Having a legal professional by your side can help when it comes to managing the legalities surrounding your case.  

Types of Custody Agreements

Determining custody during a divorce is perhaps one of the most difficult things to draft an agreement around. Although there are a number of standard agreements divorcing couples may access or incorporate into their custody plans, it’s also possible to tailor something based on your very specific situation. Here are a few examples of standard custody situations:

  • Legal Custody: Often, both parents will share legal custody of their child. This gives parents the right to make decisions surrounding their child’s welfare. For example:
    • Medical Care
    • Education
    • Activities
    • Religious Beliefs
    • Cultural Beliefs
  • Physical Custody: Outlines where a child may reside. In most cases, a child may have one home that will act as their primary residence. Some may choose to split physical custody 50/50 depending on the situation. It’s important to always keep the child’s interests at the forefront because 50/50 physical custody can be challenging for a child.
  • Joint Custody: This is when parents share both legal and physical custody of their child.
  • Sole Custody: When one parent has both physical and legal custody of their child.

Change can be hard. When divorcing your spouse and working out custody it can be easy to let your own feelings cloud what is best for your child. It’s only natural that you may feel this way, however, in the long run you may be hurting your child. This is especially true if you are unwilling to share your child with the other parent. Sometimes, an attorney can be helpful in not only keeping your interests at the forefront but also playing devil’s advocate.

Can Custody Hold Up My Divorce?

When coming up with an agreement, both parties may come to the table to negotiate their terms with their attorneys. Sometimes, this may happen outside of the courtroom. Your attorney may even enlist a mediator to help you and your ex come to an agreement surrounding the custody of your child. If you child custody is a component to your divorce, lack of an agreement may hold up the finalizing of your divorce. Once you and your ex are able to settle on a custody plan, the agreement will then be drafted by your attorney and finalized in court.

Enduring child custody is a serious adjustment, especially when you and your ex are struggling to come up with an agreement that works for all. Not only will the services of a child custody lawyer Bloomington residents turn to help in negotiating agreements, they can also advise you during what is sure to be an emotionally charged time.




Thank you to our friends and contributors at Pioletti & Pioletti Attorneys at Law for their insight into family law and child custody.