Best Custody Arrangements For Toddlers: Exploring Strategies
Making the transition from partnered parents to separated parents is rarely easy in any situation, but it can be especially difficult for families with toddlers.
There are an increasing number of couples separating and entering into arrangements to divide parenting duties, though the age and developmental needs of young children require a well thought out approach to parenting arrangements.
At Justice Family Lawyers, our team of experienced lawyers understand that when it comes to creating parenting arrangements that work for toddlers, the best solution is going to be different for every situation.
That’s why we aim to help families create workable custody arrangements that are tailored to their particular circumstances. Here, we’ll explore some of the things that parents should consider before forming custody arrangements with toddlers.
- Make sure to keep in mind the age and developmental needs of toddlers when creating parenting arrangements.
- Consider living conditions, travel requirements, and comfort level when making arrangement plans.
- Children at a toddler age typically spend more time with one parent and frequent visits from the other.
Keep Age And Developmental Needs In Mind
When creating custody arrangements for toddlers, it’s important to remember that toddlers are at a stage of development where inconsistencies in routine, care and environment can be extremely disruptive.
Aim to retain as much routine and consistency as possible when creating arrangements with toddlers, and also be mindful of their need for regular contact with both parents.
Where possible, regular exchanges should be managed to minimise disruptions for the child.
Parents should also consider their toddler’s access to their extended family and their access to friends and familiar places.
Separated parents should also be aware of their toddler’s need for physical contact and affection from both of their parents.
Parenting Arrangements for 0-4 Year Olds
Parenting arrangements for children 0-4 years old can be delicate and complicated.
No parent wants to be separated from their child and the decision of which parent will have primary responsibility should not be taken lightly.
At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand how difficult this process can be and have some useful advice for navigating parenting arrangements for the 0-4 age group.
Making parenting arrangements for the 0-4 year age group can be challenging for all involved. At Justice Family Lawyers, we believe that:
- All aspects of childcare and parenting from to-do lists to daily routines should be discussed.
- All parenting arrangements and schedules should be considered and discussed.
- Flexibility and communication is key – if this does not exist, a child cannot spend significant time in two households.
When arranging a parenting plan for any child, whether they are 0-4 or older, the child’s best interests should always be considered first. Parenting can be challenging, and the Courts will always put the best interests of any child first when making a determination.
If a child is breast feeding – it is likely that the child must not be separated from the mother for a significant period of time.
The closer a child gets to 4 years old, it is likely that they will start spending more and more time with the parent they are not residing with.
Consider Living Conditions, Travel Requirements and Comfort Level
When making custody arrangements for toddlers, it’s also important to remember the practicalities of the toddler’s living conditions.
Keep in mind the travel requirements of the arrangements, and try to minimise the disruption that travel can cause to a toddler’s routine.
In addition, parents should still strive to ensure a comfortable level of contact between the parents and the toddler during all exchanges of custody. Ideally, contact between the two parents should remain civil or amicable, or if this is not possible, professional or efficient. Separated parents should also strive to communicate openly on any issues involving the parenting arrangements for the toddler.
Check In Regularly
Finally, it’s important to remember that parenting arrangements for toddlers need to remain flexible, and that parental commitments should be checked in with regularly.
As children age, their needs change, become more advanced and their separation from their parents more mature. What works for toddlers now may not work in a few months’ time.
At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand that making a complex transition from one family to two can be daunting, but we’re here to help. Our experienced lawyers can help guide you through this process and create parenting arrangements that are tailored to help your little ones transition seamlessly to two separate households.
If you and your former partner are separated and are looking to create workable and successful parenting arrangements for your toddler, get in touch with our experienced family lawyers today.
Principal of Justice Family Lawyers, Hayder specialises in complex parenting and property family law matters. He is based in Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Communications from UTS.