How to Negotiate a Strong Child Custody Arrangement
You and your spouse can create your own child custody and visitation schedule during the divorce process, or work with an attorney. This will help you stay out of the court and avoid having a judge make custody-related decisions on your behalf.
The following are a few tips to keep in mind that will help you through the process:
- Know state law: Learn your state’s custody laws so you can put together a custody schedule that will be acceptable to your court. This will also give you a point of reference if the other parent is being unrealistic or overly demanding.
- Create a parenting plan: You should have an overarching parenting plan that details multiple elements of co-parenting beyond just your custody issues. This will act as a guide to creating a custody schedule and arrangement that is in the child’s best interest and works for both parents, as well.
- Be professional and courteous: Avoid fighting with the other parent — it might be difficult, but this is a process in which you need to set your emotions aside. You simply will not be successful in drafting your own child custody arrangement if you cannot have a positive, productive discussion. Both of you need to put your children first.
- Respect your spouse’s parenthood: Your spouse has a right to continue to be a parent to your children. If you attempt to punish the other parent by creating an overly restrictive or unfair custody schedule, this will reflect poorly on you in court and could ultimately backfire.
- Know your priorities: Have some goals and priorities with custody clearly defined, and be able to explain why you feel as strongly as you do about certain topics. The better you’re able to communicate these issues, the more smoothly the negotiations will go.
For more information and guidance on negotiating a solid child custody arrangement, contact a dedicated Long Island family law and divorce attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.