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3 tips for negotiating custody, visitation and a parenting plan

| Feb 17, 2021 | Divorce |

When parents divorce, the most important issues they need to settle involve custody, visitation and parenting. Coming up with an agreement together is generally better than letting the court apply a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

But how do you negotiate with someone you’re divorcing? How do you come to agreements with someone you just can’t get along with anymore? Here are three suggestions that may help:

Put the children first

You have to be able to put the child’s needs first. It doesn’t really matter what’s best for you or for your ex. Instead, the kids are the ones who you have to consider when you’re working out the terms of the parenting plan — even if that means both parents end up sacrificing something they want in the bargain.

Communicate directly

Always communicate directly with your ex and don’t expect your children to relay messages. When you and your ex speak to each other or use written communication like texts, there’s less of a chance that misinformation will be spread. Plus, the children aren’t put in the awkward position of trying to tell one parent what the other said. 

Don’t live in the past

Living in the past means that you can’t consider what’s best for the children. With exceptions for things like abuse, what happened in the marriage doesn’t play a role in child custody matters. Your spouse may have been an awful husband or wife, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good at being a parent. Learn to separate the past from the future and stay focused. 

Your attorney can help you to determine what options you have for a parenting plan. You should be prepared to negotiate the terms with your ex so that this plan can be set as soon as possible. This enables your children to have the stability they need.