Child custody is one of the most hotly contested matters parents must face during divorce. You may both have similar custody goals, but anger, resentment and many other emotions can get in the way of peaceful negotiations.
Those close to you may tell you to put your feelings aside and focus on your kids, but they rarely have any pointers to help you accomplish such a goal. While every family situation is unique, the tips below may improve child custody talks with your co-parent.
If you want to be heard, you must first listen
You probably have much to say when discussing custody with your co-parent, but so do they. Make sure you listen respectfully to your spouse’s position during your negotiations. You may find that they will do the same for you in return.
If talks are unproductive, table them for later
Once a conversation becomes adversarial, there is little chance of either party making much headway. While you shouldn’t put off negotiations indefinitely, it may be better to suggest ending the talks till another day when an argument interferes with progress.
If you want something, consider offering something
Willingness to compromise when discussing custody with your co-parent could solve many of your problems. When your spouse sees that you are willing to accommodate their needs and desires, they may be more likely to reciprocate.
A word of caution
Negotiating child-related issues is mentally and physically exhausting. Don’t let this cause you to lose sight of your child access rights under California law. Legal guidance may help keep you on track and safeguard your rights throughout your divorce.