Trying to share your children is probably not something you considered when you were getting married. At the time, you planned to live your life with your spouse and your children.
Now that it is time to negotiate a custody agreement, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated. You know your children need to have a relationship with your ex, but you do not want to sacrifice your time with them.
Here are a few tools to help you negotiate your child custody agreement.
What is best for the children?
Looking at child custody from your children’s perspective is an effective way to start thinking about your child custody agreement. Before you start thinking about logistics and the other aspects of child custody that can get paralyzing, begin with a plan that allows your children to have a relationship with both parents as equally as possible (unless there are specific reasons not to).
While this may not be the final agreement, it can help you start in a better place.
Once you have an ideal plan, consider what adjustments you and your spouse need to make so it becomes a plan that you both can follow. You will need to consider factors such as:
- Transporting the children from one parent to the other
- Supporting the children’s activities and friends
- Getting the children to school
Considering the family’s needs often means that the plan is not perfectly equal between you and your spouse.
Knowing when to compromise
In most child custody negotiations, there is a time when you need to fight for what is important. Similarly, there are also times when you need to be willing to compromise.
For example, while your custody agreement may give one parent an extra holiday or weekend this year, you can include a way to balance the plan for next year.
Keep in mind that as you are negotiating your agreement, you may need to take a few moments away to clear your head so you can focus. Staying in tune with your mental and emotional health can help you know when you need a break.
Crafting a child custody agreement is a difficult task that you should not take on alone. A skilled professional can advise and support you as you find a plan that works for your situation.