When a couple with a child divorce, the first thing the parents think about is who will receive custody of the children.
It’s a heart breaking and anxiety-ridden experience to go through, especially when both parents are fit to have custody and both want it.
Types of Child Custody
There are eight types of custody:
- Alternating custody – The child lives an extended time with one parent and then another extended time with the other parent.
- Shared/Joint custody – Both parents have legal rights to the child and the child lives in one parent’s house as much as the other parent’s house.
- Sole custody – When only one parent has legal custody of the child.
- Split custody – When there is more than one child, on parent has custody over one child and the other parent has custody over the other.
- Third-party custody – When someone else, a third party, has custody of the child.
- Residential custody – The person with residential custody has the child live with him or her. It’s usually the same person with legal custody, but it can be used in joint custody cases.
How Custody is Determined
Each state has its own assessment to determine which parent can provide the best home to children of a divorce. Most of the time, the parents come to a decision before allowing the court to do so.
However, for parents who can’t come to a decision, the court will make one for them. In this case, the judge will decide what is in the best interest of the child and will sometimes ask the child for his or her thoughts.
How to Make the Best of Joint Custody
No one wants to share his or her children. It’s the only way though when you get a divorce and you are awarded joint custody.
The best thing to do is to keep in mind that you are as much the child’s parent as your ex is a parent. This will help you understand why you must be without your child sometimes.
When your child is away at his other parent’s house, stay as busy as possible. This will help the time go by quickly and keep your mind off thinking about how much you miss your child.
You can also plan activities for when your child comes home. This will get you excited about your child’s return, which will also make the time go by quickly.
Keep a list of things to do when your child is around that you wish you could do but can’t because you have your child.
When he or she is with the other parent, consult your list and you’ll be free to do those things. It’s as if you have a built-in babysitter and can get a break.
It’s a Situation to Get Used To
It’s not easy to have your child with you all the time to having him or her gone for days, but it’s not something you can’t get accustomed to.
While it may be difficult at first, after you get through the separation a few times, you’ll start to adjust and it will become a normal part of your new life.