When parents come to mediation with a desire and understanding that they both want equal time with the child or children, it is because they both believe that the influence of a mother and father role are equally important. This mindset is healthy and the challenge then becomes how to accomplish it.
The major challenges that face the parents are: mom and dad’s work schedule, the child’s (children’s) school and extracurricular activities, the physical distance between the two households and any childcare arrangements that need be made.
Communication and some malleability is key to make the carrying out of any custody agreement go as smoothly as possible. A legal agreement of custody will be created but there can be room for desired changes along them way. As the child gets older, their needs and wants will change and this can affect when and where they stay.
It is recommended by psychologists that the rules and routines for the child don’t change too drastically after a separation or divorce. It is a stressful time for them and drastic change will just make it that much more stressful. But off course, structure and rules are good for development. So, having them is paramount.
Both parents and their attorneys can sit down and plan the custody matters. It is most important to use logic, not emotion, when finally deciding what the split should be. Sometimes, circumstances dictate that there be a slightly uneven split even when both parents desire 50/50 custody. After all, the experiences the child has now will affect him/her for the rest of his/her lives.