Child custody negotiations are an important part of a divorce when there are children involved. Unfortunately, there are many challenges that come with these negotiations partly because both sides feel so strongly about what’s going on and have specific ideas about the best solutions.
There are several things that can happen that might make the child custody negotiations much worse. Trying to avoid these can benefit you and your child during mediation or a trial.
Mistake 1: Trying to put children second
Children have to come first when you’re negotiating child custody matters. When you try to do what’s easiest for you or what will make life more difficult for your ex, you run the risk of not doing what’s best for the children. This can lead to big problems during the negotiations, and it can make it almost impossible to come to agreements. Make sure that you think about how every decision you make will affect the children so you can ensure you’re acting in their best interests.
Mistake 2: Trying to make your ex look bad
With the exception of abuse or addiction, there is very little chance that bringing up what you feel are negative points about your ex are going to matter. Instead of thinking about the negatives, think about how your ex is interacting with the children. Even a person who was a bad spouse can be a good parent, so be honest with yourself about what’s going on. You should voice your concerns if you have a reason to believe that the children are in danger when they are with your ex.
Mistake 3: Trying to get your way
You aren’t going to be able to get your way in everything with the child custody matter. You and your ex will have ideas about solutions to contentious issues. Be open to the suggestions you hear. Sometimes, being able to accept an idea that’s not your own helps to ensure that the children are getting what they need.
As you work through child custody negotiations, try to remember to remain respectful and calm. Being rude or harsh can work against you finding the best solutions for the children. Because this time also sets the standard for the future parenting relationship, try to keep thing at an even keel. If things do start to get heated, you can take a step back to calm down and refocus before coming back to the negotiations.