A good portion of the American family law system is dedicated to addressing concerns about the custody and care of children. Parents who've separated often get into disputes over who a child should live with, how often visitation should happen, and what responsibilities should be assigned to each of them. If you want to deal with the situation as competently as possible, take time to consider these recommendations.

Don't Make It About You Or Your Partner

The fastest way to incur the anger of a judge is to turn your focus away from the core question of the well-being of your child. Our legal system is built around the principle that all choices in these types of matters should be based on the best interests of the children. Parents do often use their kids as leverage in disputes, and nothing will turn the court against one or both parties faster.

Don't Operate With Unwritten Agreements

One of the biggest temptations, especially when former partners are able to get along following their breakups, is to put together custody informally, and with no legal documentation. Even in the absolute best of scenarios, this is a bad idea.

Many life events come up that can wreck an informal agreement. How is custody handled if one or both of the parents die? Would the child go to the grandparents on one partner's side or the other?

Obtain Counsel

The passions that run deep in dealing with relationships, and in wanting to protect our kids, make it difficult to come into a court case with a viewpoint that's clear-eyed and unbiased. One of the main benefits of hiring a child custody attorney is that you'll have someone in your corner who put your sense of outrage on pause long enough to sort through the legal minutiae.

Notably, both sides in a dispute should obtain counsel. A child custody attorney cannot represent the interests of both sides in good faith. It's not a good way to save money, and no reputable lawyer will have any part of it.

Prepare For The Unexpected

As you and your former partner approach an agreement, think hard about far off issues that might create trouble. For example, what happens if one of you decides to move out of state? A non-custodial parent can seek a stay to prevent the move if moving will deny them access to the child.

For more information, contact an attorney such as Karen Robins Carnegie PLC today.