Child Custody Agreements that Work
Will I still get to spend holidays with my child? Will I see him on his birthday?
Perhaps the most important service we offer is helping you determine custody agreements and parenting plans that will foster both the consistency and flexibility necessary for your children to thrive.
We adhere to a child-centered approach when we create parenting plans through mediation, which means that our central concern is always the best interests of your children.
We keep in mind that in most circumstances, children are best served by ample time and well developed relationships with both parents.
We regard your family as a living unit, a flexible organization, notwithstanding the divorce. As far as your children are concerned, you are their family – the only one they have – and regarding it as broken or less-than in any way is unhelpful and unnecessary—good parenting plans begin with this premise. All families face challenges, whether these include divorce or losses of other kinds. Divorce need not diminish the family’s integrity. When handled well, the process of thoughtfully mediating your divorce can develop the family’s congruency and resiliency.
When a divorce is sought (and a parenting plan for the divorce), we understand it is because the needs of one or both parents are not being sufficiently met and there is a lack of happiness, well-being, and fulfillment within the marriage. Divorce is a major undertaking and no one approaches it casually. Usually people seeking divorce have unwittingly entered a space where they can no longer continue in the marriage without compromising a fundamental sense of their own authenticity.
When our clients are divorcing, it’s because all other measures have failed and the option of divorce is the only remaining honest way forward. The need for the profound change outweighs the fear, uncertainty and inevitable discomforts and adjustments ahead.
While it is a painful time, it’s also a time of opportunity where change for the better is possible. Our goal is to support and facilitate the changes that will make the family more functional for its members by helping families create parenting plans and child custody agreements that work for all parties.
We aim to expand the possibilities of how loving and stable a divorcing family can be. The analogy of a reorganization is often helpful. Corporate reorganizations, while disruptive and unsettling, are performed for the eventual improvement and vitality of the company. So it can be with divorce. Divorce is not pursued to harm children or the family, but to address what is dysfunctional and encourage growth and fruitfulness in the future.
We deal with parenting issues inclusive of (and far beyond) the basic weekly and holiday schedules. Each child has specific qualities and predilections that require accommodation. School and activities schedules, religious holidays, family traditions and vacations are among the factors considered. Central to our work is creating parenting plans that ensure that both of you have meaningful time with your children while accommodating your work and other essential facets of your lives.
All children, particularly those going through the transitions associated with divorce, require reassurance, structure and attention. Our job is to identify the needs of your children and determine ways you—both of you—will partner as parents, regardless of your “unpartnering” as spouses. Parental partnership is critical to provide a healthy environment in which your children can develop. We help you create parenting plans based on this supposition.
We share the primary concern of divorcing parents—protecting their children. By approaching the divorce from the standpoint of what children need while understanding divorce as a reorganization of—rather than destruction of—the family, we make room for a healthier, more functional family.
In mediation, we acknowledge what is working well, and seek to augment that in the new situation. We also take the opportunity to address what hasn’t worked thus far, and put new systems and behaviors in place.
Child Custody Agreements and A Parenting Plan for Mediation or Divorce
Gone are the days of mother as default custodial parent with father having Wednesday night dinners and every other weekend. Our understanding of the developmental needs of children and the important role of both parents has radically shifted, and current parenting plans support this.
Parents are encouraged to maintain robust involvement with their children and share time, often equally.
At Alexander Mediation Group, we are rooted in the concept that children benefit from secure attachments to both parents, and we work with clients to design parenting plans and child custody agreements to support that end.
Today, there are a multitude of weekly parenting schedules that work for joint custody arrangements. What’s critical is to develop a parenting plan in mediation that is effective for your family. In mediation, we often create a parenting plan for divorce that provides for a transitional period during which the children (and parents) can adjust, over time, to a new schedule and parenting arrangement. This graduated approach can be a gentle alternative to a sudden, disquieting change. By considering the very real and sensitive internal needs of the children and each of you along with the pragmatic workings of a new schedule, we accomplish lasting results and mitigate anxiety and disharmony.
Cooperation between parents increases security and equilibrium as well as easier transitions for children between households. The more parents are able to work together, the more imaginative and adaptive the parenting schedules can be. We help you do this.
If you are considering divorce and want to know more about parenting plans or child custody agreements, know that you are not alone—we’re here to help. Click here to contact us right now and talk to someone with the knowledge you need.