What exactly is meant by the term “custody sharing agreement”?


What are the logistics of joint parenting?
Despite the fact that it is no longer recognised by legal authorities, the term “custody” is used regularly by parents in everyday conversation. The word “care” is being used more frequently in place of “custody” by legal professionals, including judges and mediators. This has led to the development of language such as “shared care” to represent situations that were formerly referred to as “shared custody.” Nevertheless, what does this signify? There are many different points of view concerning what exactly shared care implies and how it ought to be organised.

Traditionally, child arrangement agreements or court decisions centred on the concept that one parent had custody of the child or children, which denotes that the parent is the primary caretaker of the child or children and that the child or children primarily reside with the parent who has custody. After that, the non-custodial parent would be granted “visitation,” or the right to see their children at specified times and days of the week.

After a divorce or separation, it is widely agreed upon that it is in the children’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both of their parents. This is made possible by shared care arrangements, which enable both parents to participate in their children’s upbringings and shower them with love and attention. In a shared care situation, children could look forward to spending quality time with both of their parents. Not only do children in shared care agreements spend a certain amount of time living with each parent, but they also get love, attention, and guidance from both of their parents. The conventional ideas about custody, in terms of their applicability, are disrupted as a result of this development. https://miams.co.uk/costs/

Mediators typically inquire with parents about the objectives they have for the mediation process. The comment that they want a “50/50 touch” is something that we hear quite regularly. The term “shared care” does not indicate that responsibilities are split evenly between both parents. In practise, the courts almost never mandate that children spend equal time with both parents following a divorce. On the other hand, this does not always mean that future orders won’t be fairly balanced. Each parent shall share (“50/50”) duty, obligations, and the ability to make decisions regarding their children in the same proportion. The fundamental reason that shared care agreements do not always involve 50/50 contact is because it is not always practical to do so. There might be practical considerations that need to be taken into account, such as the physical separation of the parents. Even if you have contact with your children less than half of the time, this does not mean that you do not partake in the obligations of being a parent.
What should I expect from a situation involving shared responsibility for care?

You should be prepared for a range of considerations while negotiating a shared-care agreement, including the following:
1. You need to make sure that each of your children has the impression that they are an important part of your lives. This suggests that both parents will be active in their children’s education in all aspects, including extracurricular activities, health care, academics, and future careers!
2. Both parents are involved in the decision-making process about this matter; one parent will not take the lead.
3. Neither one of the kid’s parents shall be excluded from key facets of the lives of their child in any way.
4. Both parents will encourage their children to spend quality time with the other parent.
5. One of the terms of the agreements is that the children will split their time between both of their parents. Whenever possible, a shared care agreement will involve the children spending significant amounts of time with both of their parents. This happens rather frequently during the breaks between school terms, but it will continue for the duration of the agreement.
6. Your children have an equal amount of respect for both of their parents. In line with the terms of the agreement, your children are permitted unfettered access to both of their parents. A common goal is to have the children feel as though they are split their time between two homes, one with each parent.

In a shared care agreement, the traditional concepts of custody and visitation are replaced with a shared parenting or coparenting approach. This means that both parents are actively involved in their children’s lives, and the children are able to watch this involvement. In practise, custody arrangements can sometimes leave one parent feeling cut off from the other, which can have a detrimental impact on the children. The goal of making arrangements for shared care is to prevent situations like this one from arising.
It may seem like a broken record, but it is crucial to keep in mind the following point after reading this short blog post: shared care does not equal contact on an equal basis.

If it is not a 50/50 split, then what exactly is a shared care agreement?
It is not necessary for children to spend equal amounts of time with each parent for there to be shared parenting. As was just mentioned, putting this into practise can be fairly difficult at times. Because of the unique characteristics of each family, the living arrangements will vary greatly. A 50/50 shared custody arrangement can be achieved by some parents by having them take turns caring for their children on a weekly basis, alternating between on and off weeks. However, this may prove to be rather difficult for children, particularly if they must spend extended amounts of time apart from one or both of their parents. Alternately, parents can switch houses every few days during the week in order to do this, but this arrangement can be just as difficult for children because they are continually moving about. It could be difficult to find a middle ground and agree on anything.

When conflicts reach this point, mediation may be of assistance. During the course of the mediation, we will consider a variety of different solutions. You should be prepared for a realistic assessment of these recommendations, which will be as follows: What options are there? What doesn’t seem to work? How might we possibly make this circumstance work to our advantage? As you move forward in the process of evaluating a shared care agreement, you should probably plan to investigate each of these subjects. You are required to first set up a meeting for mediation information and assessment if you want to go through the process of exploring different options for a shared care agreement through mediation (MIAM).

In shared care arrangements, common parental suggestions include rotating weekends, alternating weekdays, and dividing up holidays in an equitable manner. This second point is essential because it makes it possible for parents to spend lengthy periods of high-quality time with their children at various points during the year, such as when they are on vacation.

The realisation on the part of both parents of their equal engagement and significance in the lives of their children is the element of a shared care arrangement that is the absolute most important.

In a shared care agreement, what different kinds of clauses can one expect to find?

You have the ability to incorporate into the design a number of components that are personally significant to you. Typical points of attention include: • The primary residence of the children and the frequency with which they will spend time with the other parent.
• The number of times per week that the children will spend time with their extended family members as part of the arrangement.
• The proximity of the schools to which the children are enrolled.
• The religious upbringing that will be imparted to future generations.
• Payment of spousal support and child support.
• Commitments about coparenting and open lines of communication.

This list is not complete, and as parents, you will need to determine what aspects are most essential for you and your family as you move forward. When looking into and suggesting arrangements for a shared care agreement, the first issue you should address is, “What is in the best interests of our children?” (Which is also the title of this article.) When it comes time for the court to make a decision on custody of your children, this is the question that will ultimately be asked.

Conclusions concerning joint parenting agreements
The period of time during which parents are going through the process of divorce is a difficult time for all parties concerned, including the children. It is of the highest significance that, following the divorce or separation of their parents, children continue to feel loved and supported, and that they are given the opportunity to have a healthy connection with both of their parents moving forward. This is possible as a result of the shared care arrangements that have been made. It is possible for parents to ensure that each of them plays an equal part in the lives of their children by working toward a shared care agreement. In doing so, the parents will be able to provide their children with the reassurance and care that they will require in the future.

The first step in achieving a future agreement for shared care is to participate in mediation. You are required to begin by attending an MIAM. This will require scheduling an appointment with one of our licenced mediators, who will provide you with information regarding mediation and give you the opportunity to discuss your case in further detail. After that, we will send an invitation to the other parent to attend their own individual MIAM meeting. Following the conclusion of your individual participation in MIAMs, you will go on to combined mediation sessions. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to explore potential outcomes and make headway toward a settlement. If you are able to come to an agreement, your mediator will be able to draught a Parenting Plan for you, which you will then be able to turn into a contract that is legally binding. Your mediator will be present for the entirety of the process to facilitate communication and assist you in coming to an agreement for shared care that is beneficial for both you and your children.

You have the option of asking the court for a Child Arrangements Order if mediation is either not appropriate or does not succeed. This may be done by filling out a form that is designated as C100. Keep in mind that going to court should be your very last resort since it will take significantly longer time and will cost significantly more money than mediation. Making a call to the Family Court Application Service can put you in touch with people who can help you fill out C100 paperwork (FCAS). In the event that the mediation is unsuccessful, your mediator will provide you with more information on this matter.