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 April 12, 2018 |

When Louisiana residents think of their options for child custody after a divorce, they may take the traditional view — one of the parents is a primary caretaker — the custodial parent — while the other gets visitation rights, typically over the weekend and alternate holidays. However, this norm is changing. It is moving more into what is really best for the child, rather than what the wants of the parents. And, research has shown again and again that a father’s involvement in the child’s life is in their best interests. Children are shown to have lesser psychological and behavioral problems if parents have joint custody post divorce.

Child custody arrangements are getting the modern treatment, and this could mean anything, as long as children are happy. Parents are trying to peacefully and collectively put aside their issues and come to a custody arrangement that would make their child’s life continue smoothly and allow both parents to continue to have a relationship with the child.

One option that is picking up in popularity is nesting. The family house becomes a “nest,” where the children continue to reside and the parents rotate in and out, usually every two weeks. This gives the child stability, but needs an especially peaceful divorce to work.

Others may find the cost of running three households might be too high or that the stress of coming back to an unexpected condition in the house may be too much. Another option then might be to live nearby one another and alternate weeks of custody — one week with the father and one week with the mother. This allows both parents to remain an integral part of the child’s life. Others may find that switching every two days a week might be the best approach.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone’s circumstances are different — the only constant is collaborating with one another for the best interests of the child. It might be helpful to discuss one’s options with an experienced attorney and determine what would work best in one’s individual instance.

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