When parents have to discuss child custody and attempt to work together to find an arrangement that works for all parties involved, they may be reluctant to do so at first. For some, the relationship has ended and seeing the other parent of their child is not something they look forward to even if it is for something important. Despite how they feel, their child needs both parents in his or her life, so both parents will have to face each other to figure out a solution, whether that is with their attorneys or in front of a judge.
If parents choose to figure out a child custody arrangement on their own, they will need to work out a parenting plan. This plan outlines a visitation schedule, the child's primary residence, and whether both parents will be considered in the decision-making process and more. After parents agree on an arrangement and work out the details, they must have it approved by the courts.
Before the courts can approve this agreement, it will be looked over to see if it is fair, but most importantly beneficial to the child and in their best interests. If all is well, then the court will approve the parenting. If not, the parents may have to go back to the drawing board and make adjustments that are to the court's liking. This means that if parents want their parenting agreement to be approved the first time, they must be fair and put the child's needs and wants before their own.
Parents who are having child custody issues should speak to an attorney. It is normal to feel hurt or angry about the possibility of having to spend less time with your child, but there is always the chance that you will be awarded joint or sole custody of your child. An attorney may be able to help you with your custody dispute, as well as stand by your side should you and the other parent of your child have to be seen in court to resolve the matter.