How to Negotiate a Child Custody Arrangement with Your Spouse
Without any question, both parents want what is best for their children. The court has a similar interest in protecting the health and well-being of any minors. Unfortunately, if parents cannot agree on custody issues, then the court may make these decisions for them. Most of these court-decreed decisions are nowhere near as convenient, workable and sensible as they could be.
Clearly, it's better for the whole family if the parents can create their own child custody arrangement that makes sense for them, but this is easier said than done.
When you and your former partner aren't able to initially agree on child custody, don't give up. The answer may be to enter negotiations, perhaps with the assistance of a qualified mediator.
Negotiating child custody is challenging, but it tends to go more smoothly when both parents keep their emotions in check. Feelings certainly are running high. However, keeping a cool head provides each parent with a better opportunity of crafting a creative and workable arrangement. If you're having difficulty regulating your emotions, consider consulting with a close friend, coach or a therapist for support.
Another thing to bear in mind throughout the negotiations is the best interests of your child. You may not be able to get along with your partner any longer, but your child still loves their parents. The courts don't like to stand in the way of healthy relationships between parents and kids, so unless there are verifiable claims of abuse or neglect, make your peace with continuing to share parenting responsibilities. It genuinely is in your child's best interests, and that's likely how the court will see it too.
It's also valuable to be open-minded as you go through negotiations. Try to visualize how each scenario might play out in your real, everyday life. Doing so may help you to see that a proposal that appears ridiculous on the surface actually may have a chance of working. Accordingly, it makes sense to not dismiss out-of-hand any suggestions that your partner or that the mediator might suggest. It may be that a real solution is lurking in that idea.
If you would like more information about negotiating a child custody arrangement through mediation, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.