joint custody Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Cordell & Cordell

Coping strategies for sharing custody of children

Parenting is difficult enough when both individuals are married and present to raise their child. This makes creating a peaceful environment for kids after a divorce even harder, as tension between the former couple can end up hurting the development of the child.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Judy Corcoran, co-author of a book titled “Joint Custody with a Jerk” noted that sustaining a peaceful environment for children is essential, despite how difficult it might be for both parents.

“You actually hate the person’s guts by this time,” Corcoran told the newspaper. “So that’s what we teach, how to communicate with this person.”

Though Judy Corcoran is a divorcee and a single parent, she noted that this “jerk” can be both a female or male, as both sexes can be responsible for creating this negative environment for a child.

Corcoran met the co-author Julia A. Ross at Parenting Horizons, an organization that helps divorced adults reconcile to the point where they can still be effective parents and have a positive impact on their child, according to the organization’s website.

 

When children want to choose one home or the other

Parents often think they know what’s best for their children, even if they have gone through a divorce. However, as children get older, they may want a say in the child custody arrangements, particularly when it comes to where they live, as these decisions can greatly affect their schooling and social lives.

Huffington Post contributor Diana Carbajal Mejia has experienced this first hand when her teenage step-daughter asked to live with her and the teen’s father full-time after sharing custody half-and-half with the child’s mother for eight years.

The teenager proposed the arrangement because the split time at two homes was making it difficult to keep track of her studies. She also had to constantly lug her heavy school books from one house to the other, and had to have two sets of school uniforms for each house.

After hearing this request, Mejia said she spoke with her husband about the situation. Next, it was important for the couple to discuss the daughter’s wish with her mother. All adults involved discussed what would be best for the teen and agreed that they could not refuse her request.

According to the Post Gazette, it is important that parents listen to these requests but avoid getting bullied into the decision. The reasons for living arrangement changes should be in line with the co-parenting plan.

Alabama child custody laws shelved

Some fathers in Alabama who claim they do not receive enough time with their children as a result of their child custody agreement have expressed their dismay a bill that would give them more custody has been shelved until the next legislative session, according to the Anniston Star.

Luke Smallwood, a Jacksonville resident, told the newspaper he believes lopsided child custody laws in the state are partially to blame for his 2-year-old son’s disappearance. Smallwood, who is supposed to see his son every other weekend as part of his custody agreement with his ex-wife, said earlier this month his wife didn’t show up when it was his weekend.

“Unless the mother is a crackhead or has some sort of drug addiction, the court isn’t going to give fathers any rights,” Smallwood told the paper.

To help fathers win more custody rights, the state Senate introduced the Alabama Children’s Family Act, which would have required judges to order equal, joint custody of children in all divorce settlements that parents cannot work out themselves. However, the news provider said opponents believe the measure would provide little stability to children who were forced to travel back and forth between two homes.

Other states have also been reconsidering their child custody laws. Tennessee recently passed a bill that requires judges to consider how they can maximize a child’s involvement with both parents when making custody decision, which was signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Haslam signs Tennessee child custody bill

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill that will require judges to consider how to maximize both parents involvement in their child’s life when making custody decisions, reported The Associated Press.

While other factors will be considered as well, the media outlet said the requirement may lead some judges to increase visitation time and designate equal 50-50 custody more often. Supporters of the legislation say judges should be presented with the tools needed to do what is in the best interest of a child, according to the AP.

The law will only apply to new custody cases. The source said parents under older court orders will have to demonstrate a considerable change in circumstances to alter their visitation and custody schedules.

The legislation passed 92-0 in the state House of Representatives and 19-9 in the Senate. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Andy Berke of Chattanooga.

The approval comes amidst a series of family law proposals in Tennessee. The state Supreme Court is set to decide a case that could determine how alimony is awarded between a divorced couple, in addition to another case pertaining to paternity fraud.