Divorce can affect the whole family. This is particularly true if you have children. One requirement of divorce is figuring out who gets custody of the kids, and when. Negotiating custody can take time. What happens during the process of divorce itself? Which parent will the kids stay with while the details of the divorce are being finalized? The answer will depend on you and your spouse.

Negotiate Temporary Custody Terms Yourself

Some divorces are amicable. This simply means that you and your spouse can see eye-to-eye on most things in the divorce. While you may have some disagreements about alimony, child support, or property division, you tend to approach things with an even head. You are able to find mutually-agreeable solutions to problems you encounter. You’re both working together to make the divorce process as simple as possible.

If you find yourself in this situation, you and your spouse should try to agree on a temporary custody arrangement. If you have a permanent agreement in place, your temporary arrangement could simply follow those terms. The best thing to do is to find a schedule that works for your kids.

When crafting a temporary custody arrangement for your divorce, consider:

  • Which parent’s home is near the children’s school
  • Which parent will be available to spend the most time with the kids
  • Which parent will be available to drive the children to their various activities, and
  • The children’s preference.

Agreeing on a custody arrangement during your divorce can help protect your kids from the negative aspects of your split.

Request a Temporary Custody Court Order

Other times, you may find that your spouse fights you at every step of the way in your divorce. They refuse to agree on any terms you present and make it difficult to get anything accomplished. When it comes to the kids, they may be adamant about having custody now and into the future. If you want to share custody, or believe your children may be endangered by the other parent, you can ask the court to step in.

In order to get the court to help you’ll have to file a Request for Order. This request will basically ask the court to issue a temporary custody order. The order will only last for the duration of your divorce. Once the divorce is finalized, the terms of your permanent child custody agreement will go into effect.

In this Request for Order, you must include:

  • An explanation of the type of order you’d like the court to issue;
  • A request for a specific type of custody (e.g., joint, sole), and
  • Declaration and evidence supporting your request.

Your spouse will have the opportunity to formally respond to your request with a declaration of their own. After a judge reviews relevant documents, he or she will set two different dates: mediation and court.

Mediation: You’ll be required to attempt to resolve your custody dispute with the help of a mediator before going to court. The mediator will speak with you and your spouse separately and try to move you in a positive direction. The goal of mediation is to find a temporary custody arrangement that you can both live with.

Court: If mediation is unsuccessful, you’ll have the opportunity to present your case to a judge. The judge will likely be unhappy that you were unable to resolve the issue in mediation. He or she will issue an order that serves the children’s best interests. Remember, this order will only be temporary.

Get Help Negotiating Child Custody During Your Divorce

It’s important to make sure that your child’s best interests are considered when you get a divorce. This includes the living arrangement for however long it takes to finalize your split. At Fernandez & Karney, our Los Angeles family law attorneys can help negotiate a temporary custody arrangement with our child’s other parent. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.