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Develop a custody schedule or a judge will do it for you

When you and your estranged spouse no longer get along, determining child custody arrangements in a divorce isn't always easy. You may have little or no communication with one another other than to allow your child to see or communicate with the other parent.

This isn't healthy. It also makes it very hard to develop a custody schedule that works for everyone and in the best interests of your child. As a parent, it's up to you to set aside your differences and focus on how you can help your child best during and following the divorce.

How can you and your co-parent work together to develop a custody schedule?

First, you should try to sit down and talk. You may not feel comfortable, but you both know that your child has to come first. Set aside your feelings and try to come up with a basic outline for custody so that your child has a routine they can follow each day.

If you aren't able to be together without arguing or getting upset, then consider heading to mediation. With a mediator, a third party is in the room assisting you with staying on track and helping you avoid conflict. If you can both agree that you need to work together despite your differences, then mediation is an option that could help you.

If there is no way to work together to develop a custody schedule, a judge will do so for you. Keep in mind that it gives you little leeway and determines your child's schedule regardless of your thoughts. Therefore, it's typically better if you, your spouse and your attorneys can submit a custody schedule you agree on.

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