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Stephen Beroes, Elizabeth A. Beroes, Julie Elizabeth Beroes, and Shanice Williams
Stephen Beroes, Elizabeth A. Beroes, Julie Elizabeth Beroes, Shanice Williams

Implement these five strategies into child custody negotiation

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Child Custody

A lot of child custody disputes are highly contentious, with each parent flinging mud at the other to see who can come out the cleanest and with the most amount of time with their children.

Fortunately, the majority of custody cases are resolved without the need for full-blown litigation. This can save you time and money, and it can also protect your mental health and your children’s well-being.

But you can’t improvise child custody negotiations. Doing so results in an outcome that’s vastly different than what you were hoping for, and one that puts your children’s best interests at risk. That’s why in this post we want to give you some ideas for how to successfully navigate a custody arrangement and parenting plan so that you protect your children’s best interests, your time and relationships with your children, and your co-parenting relationship.

Tips for negotiating a custody arrangement or parenting plan

No two custody cases are the same. While you’ll need a custom-tailored approach to your circumstances, there are some general tips that may prove beneficial to you and your family. Here are some that you might want to take into consideration:

  • Be prepared: You certainly don’t want to improvise your negotiations. Instead, you need to have supporting documentation to discuss and be capable of articulating why your proposed custody solution is best for your children. You can also anticipate what the other parent will argue so that you can prepare to counter their position.
  • Check your emotions: It can be easy to attack the other parent when you’re talking about custody of and visitation with your children, but you should refrain from doing so. If you go off on your children’s other parent, then they’re going to be even less willing to work with you to find common ground. This can create entrenched positions, lead to highly conflictual litigation, and result in a strained co-parenting relationship that can make your life more challenging for years to come. The resulting impact on your children can be devastating.
  • Be prepared to seek out common ground: You’re not going to get everything you want out of the negotiating process. That isn’t to say that you should lose out on every aspect of your custody agreement. On the contrary, you should advocate for the outcome that you think is best, then work to find common ground that both you and your children’s other parent can live with.
  • Hash out the complicated pieces: There are always going to be sticking points in a child custody or parenting plan arrangement. Birthdays and holidays are usually amongst them, with each parent wanting to spend as much time with their children as possible. Don’t be afraid to broach these difficult conversations during your negotiations. The more you can sort out now, the better you’ll be moving forward as everyone will have tempered expectations.
  • Don’t lose sight of what matters: Remember, the focus of your custody and visitation plan is your children’s best interests. You shouldn’t compromise that regardless of the facts. So, if you’re struggling with a proposal, ask the other parent how it supports the children’s best interests and see what they say.

Don’t let a haphazard negotiation negatively impact your time with your children

The negotiation process is critically important to a successful child custody arrangement. If you give in too easily or enter the process unprepared, then you could be subjected to a bad outcome that negatively impacts your relationship with your kids. So, be as prepared as possible going into the process. To do so, starting thinking about how to formulate your position now.