You and your spouse are going your separate ways. Ultimately, this is the best decision for everyone involved. During your divorce, there will be many aspects to settle, none of which are more important than your child custody arrangements.
Generally, the courts prefer it if both parents can reach an amicable agreement that meets the needs of the children. However, if this cannot be achieved then the courts will step in. Either way, the final agreement that has been signed off on is legally binding.
Outlined below are a few factors to consider while negotiating your custody agreement:
Make sure you have the time
Divorce is often viewed as an adversarial process, where one spouse wins and the other ends up with the rough end of the bargain. In reality, there are no winners in highly-contested divorce proceedings.
You may be tempted to fight for parenting time that you simply can’t give, just to get one over on your spouse. Remember, what’s important is that your child’s needs are met. Generally, it’s beneficial for both parents to have an active role. Make sure you negotiate a settlement that means you can still provide for your child financially and spend quality time with them.
Hold business-like negotiations
It may sound strange at first, but it can be helpful to think of conversations around custody in the same way as business negotiations. The personal disagreements that you and your spouse have are irrelevant. What matters is ensuring that the needs of your child are met. Try to put grudges to one side and think about what suits your child.
Negotiating custody is by no means easy but it is possible to build a successful co-parenting relationship after divorce. Make sure you have legal guidance behind you every step of the way.