Negotiating Your Custody Agreement
Co-parents who choose to create their own custody agreement are often happier with their decision in the long run than co-parents who do not. Creating your own custody agreement gives you the freedom to decide how you and your co-parent will divide custody, how visitation time will be awarded, what kind of custody schedule will be implemented, and so on. This may sound very appealing but the process is a lot of work and you and your co-parent must work very closely with one another. After some time you may come to realize that negotiating your custody agreement with your co-parent is an essential part of the process.
Communicating with your co-parent
One of the most difficult parts of creating a custody agreement is effectively communicating with your co-parent. Many co-parents still have bad feelings towards one another because of the divorce. This tension and conflict can make communicating almost impossible. The process of creating a custody agreement mostly involved discussing issues and ultimately coming to agreements, which is very difficult without proper communication. The first step in negotiating your custody agreement is putting your emotions aside and allowing you and your co-parent to communicate effectively to complete your custody agreement. After doing so you will see that you and your co-parent are able to communicate much more effectively.
Preparing yourself before hand
In order to effectively negotiate your custody agreement with your co-parent and ultimately create an acceptable custody agreement you must be prepared. Learning about issues such as the child custody laws of your state before hand is essential. This will save you time and in some cases money since you won’t have to consult an attorney to have these questions answered. Preparing yourself by learning these issues will also help you to know your own rights if your co-parent is trying to be unreasonable.
Things to keep in mind when negotiating your custody agreement
Listening to what your co-parent has to say is often overlooked. Many co-parents have so many ideas and opinions regarding their custody agreement that they don’t take the time to listen to what the other co-parent has to say; they are often very closed minded. Be patient and take the time to listen to the proposals made by your co-parent. After hearing what your co-parent has proposed you can then take them into consideration and make proposals of your own based on what you’ve heard. This is essential to effectively negotiating your custody agreement. You may even find that you and your co-parent are on the same page about a lot of issues.
It is very unlikely that either you or your co-parent will be completely happy about all of the decisions that are made regarding the custody agreement. This is natural and can even be healthy. This can potentially be a healthy thing if both you and your co-parent are making efforts to compromise with one another. Be prepared to give as well as take when it comes to negotiating your custody agreement.
One of the most important things to remember when negotiating your custody agreement is to keep things between you and your co-parent professional and not to let your emotions get the best of you. Both you and your co-parent must realize that your relationship needs to change from a romantic relationship to a strictly co-parenting relationship. This new relationship is based solely on the benefit and wellbeing of your child.
Getting help with negotiating your custody agreement
Negotiating your custody agreement is not an easy task. Many co-parents choose to consult a professional family mediator to help them along with these negotiations. They will help to ensure that both you and your co-parent are being treated fairly and are able to come to sufficient compromises. Visit our Divorcing, What You Can Expect by State page to find a trusted professional family mediator near you.