Child-related matters are often hotly contested at the negotiation table. Each parent wants frequent contact with the kids, but a fair plan may not look the same to both parents.
Unless you want the courts to step in and decide on your behalf, you must negotiate a plan that protects your child’s best interests. The tips below can help you learn the art of custody and parenting time negotiations.
Know the law
Each state has its own family laws. If you live here in Illinois, make sure you understand the legal elements of custody and parenting time. Such knowledge will help you avoid agreeing on a plan that is not legal in the state.
Record your goals
You probably have at least some concept of what you want to include in your child custody and parenting time arrangement. Write your goals and ideas in list form to help you remain focused during your negotiations. Remember to address anything you fear could harm your child’s physical and psychological health.
Check your emotions
One thing that interferes with most custody negotiations is losing control of your emotions. Even though it is hard, keep your feelings in check each time you enter child-related dialogues with your co-parent. Courts look unfavorably at those that allow their emotions to overrule concerns about children.
Be respectful to your co-parent
A good way to stir the pot and cause an argument is to disrespect your co-parent. If you appreciate respectful treatment, your ex probably does, too. Abiding by the Golden Rule can play a critical role in custody negotiations.
Seeking counsel from a professional who understands child custody and other family law matters can also improve your negotiations.