Legal matters that have to do with children can be hard to deal with. As a parent, you should try to make these things as less of a burden for the little ones as possible. Here is what you can do to have child custody settled with the help of a family attorney and without the involvement of the court.
Don’t Skip The Law Altogether
Handling child custody settlements and agreements don’t necessarily mean that you are ruling out the court altogether. It simply means that you will be making all of the agreements, negotiations, plans, and financial decisions outside of court, between yourselves, and then have the legal paperwork drawn out by the lawyers, based on the terms and agreements you both settled on.
This saves a lot of time and money as these agreements are hard to go over, especially if the partners are volatile and are not separating on good terms. These cases might be extremely sensitive and one can use it to violate and tarnish the other person’s image and life.
The first step to a successful settlement of child custody is making negotiations. These negotiations can be anything, from how much one parent can visit the children, what will be the plan of parenting, and how both of you will accommodate this new lifestyle.
Usually, negotiations take the most time and this is the place where most disputes take place. If you and your partner are on friendly terms, then it shouldn’t be too hard to see eye to eye with various matters, especially when it comes to your children and the betterment of their lives and the future ahead.
Have A Mediator
Having a mediator is also a great option and it doesn’t need to have any legal involvement either. Although a mediator is someone who has background knowledge of legal matters as far as separation, divorces, and custody are concerned, it doesn’t mean that having a mediator sends your case to court.
It simply means that if the couple is not coming to a unanimous decision about a certain negotiation, then it’s the job of a mediator to propose something which is a middle ground settlement for both of the parties.
ADR Meetings Can Help
Another great thing you can use to figure out the custody of your children and have it done your way, rather than having a decision imposed on the entire family by a judge, is to have an ADR.
Alternate Dispute Resolution are informal meetings that are solely done to figure out how you want to go forward with the custody settlement. These meetings are less expensive than having court involvement and both the parents can make better decisions and/or compromises for the sake of their children.
Collaborative Family Law
If coming to an agreement outside of court is hard, then you can go for the option of collaborative family law. This law is imposed when you don’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on lawyer fees and want to come to a conclusion quickly, instead of having years wasted on a child custody court case.
This law allows both of the parents to have a lawyer and they both come together with the sole purpose of negotiating things that are taking too much time. The parents don’t need to be present during the legal meetings between the representatives, unlike ADR meetings, where presence is a must.
Settle On Visitation Rights
This is the point of the settlement where major negotiations have been made and now it’s time to see who gets the custody of the children. After that has been announced or decided between you and your partner, you can then move on to visitation rights for the other parent.
This is basically a settlement for the time when the other parent can visit or even take the kids away for a certain amount of time, each week or month, depending on the agreement you made. It is then drafted into a legal document and both parents need to follow through with it, otherwise, there will be consequences.
Develop A Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is necessary to think about because divorce is already hard for the children to deal with. Both parents need to come up with a plan that will affect the lives and moods of the children as little as possible.
You want the parenting plan to be authentic and give the children equal attention, even though you’re separated. This can be a hard thing to deal with, but it needs to be done for your children’s sake.
Last but not least, you also want to go over the financial settlements with your partner. If one parent earns more than the other, then it’s the legal duty of that parent to pay for the children’s lifestyle, education, and other miscellaneous things.
A divorce or separation doesn’t mean that you will forget about the core responsibilities of being a parent. This can also be drafted into a legal document so that the financial settlement is followed through and there is no ill will or vice involved. You can either settle it among yourselves and only involving your uncontested divorce lawyer Fairfax VA or have the court do it.
Benefits Of Handling Custody Matters Outside Of Court
Here are the benefits of handling child custody settlements outside of court.
No Negative Impact On Children
It’s never a good impression to have your young children see you and your partner fight and go back and forth on each other in court. If your children are still young, it’s better to keep them away from these kinds of messy situations, which can negatively affect the mindset of a child.
Handling custody cases outside of court and coming up with mutual agreements on friendly terms is a great way to keep children away from these hurtful encounters and part ways amicably, for good.
It’s Less Expensive
Handling child custody agreements outside of court is generally less expensive and there are no legal fees and dues that you need to pay. If you are struggling financially, then this is a great option to consider.
Since there is no 3rd party, aka, lawyers and judges involved, trying to make decisions based on your and your partner’s situation, then the costs are almost negligible too.
Works Out Great Most Of The Time
This needs to be stressed that handling any sort of agreement with your separating partner outside of court will only work if you two are on amicable terms. If one or both partners are out for revenge on the other, then it’s better to take this case into court as well, because things will not end well if the relationship is volatile and one partner or the other is trying to take advantage of the situation.
There you have it! Settling custody matters outside of court, especially if the two parents are on good terms, has a lot of benefits. It’s a great and healthy way to part ways and settle the kids down for this new change in their lives. Get started by hiring the best divorce lawyers Fairfax VA.