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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Planning for custody issues at the onset of divorce

Tennessee parents understand that parenting goes on after a couple chooses to divorce. What might not be completely clear to the parents is how they will do this successfully when they are no longer living together. They can, however, plan for this from the beginning of their separation.

One of the things parents can do to help ensure that they can continue to parent their children successfully after a divorce is to create a well-designed parenting plan. A well-designed plan takes into consideration the best interests of the children as well as the lives and schedules of both parents. It provides clearly defined roles for each parent, including what roles they will play when the children are not in their physical custody, and includes a clear visitation schedule. Other things that parents should consider when designing the plan is where visitation exchanges should happen and how new partners or remarriages might affect everyone. A well-designed plan can save emotional stress and further spending for the parents since a plan that is not well-thought out can result in the parents having to go back to court to fix the things that they later deem are not working.

When it comes to child custody issues, divorcing parents can benefit from taking the time to prepare for negotiations. If each parent arrives at the negotiations with clear goals for their role in the family and clearly defined ideas for the parenting plan, they might better work together at creating the document that will affect their children's and their own lives for many years in the future.

During the process of negotiating child custody during a divorce, a parent might find the assistance a lawyer with family law experience can provide to be an additional support. A lawyer can explain the process, discuss any legislation that might affect the negotiations and possibly represent the parent during the negotiations and in court.

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