Custody and visitation are two of the most emotional and frustrating aspects in the breakup of a marriage. State law and local court rules provide a structured means of resolving custody matters. Those rules vary somewhat from county to county, but generally involve the drafting of petitions and agreements, a conciliation process, child custody evaluations involving trained counselors and psychologists. and, in extreme cases, judicial intervention.
Although the law provides a way of resolving these conflicts, it is important that the parents do everything in their power to work out their differences. The legal issues of custody and visitation last until the children reach adulthood, but both parents will be their children’s parents for their lifetime. Relationships with the children established throughout the marriage will survive only if both parents cooperate with each other reasonably, always being guided by the best interests of the children. Even if the parents cannot communicate about other areas, they must work out ways to communicate about their children. Approached in the correct way, separating parents should view it from the standpoint of the children’s right to a continued relationship with both parents, grandparents and other family members.
If you are involved in any custody matter, you should consult an attorney to help you put in writing any agreement you reach and to protect both your rights and your children’s. If you do not have an attorney and have questions about this topic or other legal concerns, please contact me at your convenience.