Parents going through a divorce while they have minor children at home can face some challenges as they work with their ex to determine the terms of the parenting plan. Most individuals going through this want to have a plan in place as quickly as possible.
Working out the terms of the plan requires you to work as a team. Negotiating child custody matters can be downright maddening, but you might be able to make things a tad easier if you remember a few points.
Put your children first
Your child’s needs must remain the focal point of the negotiations. It is easy to think about how decisions might impact you, and some people try to make life more difficult for their ex. Thinking about anything other than how things impact the children can make the negotiations much more complicated than they have to be.
Let go of the past
Even a spouse who made poor decisions regarding the marriage can be an excellent parent. Instead of focusing on what led to the divorce, the child custody decisions must consider how the children interact with each parent. Don’t let your personal feelings about your ex dictate what type of relationship you try to force between them and the kids.
Avoid trying to make your ex look bad
With few exceptions for instances of child abuse or obvious child endangerment, the court isn’t concerned about what your ex does. Trying to make your ex look bad during the custody matter can end up backfiring and working against you. It is always better to show the court that you’re willing to work as a parenting team to improve the life of the children.
Think about rule proposals
The back and forth that comes with parenting plan negotiations sometimes means trying to decide on mutual rules. Before you propose rules to follow, think about exactly what they might involve. Something you think is going to be good for the kids might end up working against what’s best for the children.
As you set the terms for child custody, remember that the plan should reflect what the minor needs now. As they mature, you can seek a modification of the terms to address any changes that become necessary. Trying to think too far into the future could lead to a plan that makes life more difficult for everyone involved.