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Think of the Kids: 4 Keys to Negotiating Child Custody After a Split

After a split, feelings are raw. It’s hard to set those feelings aside to do what’s best for the kids, but that’s exactly what you have to do. Here are four key tips for negotiating a child custody arrangement that’s best for the kids and fair to both parents.

Understand There Are Two Components to Custody

Custody is not just one big thing—it’s actually two separate things: legal and physical. Legal custody is the ability to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as religion, healthcare, and education. Physical custody is about where the child lives and the day-to-day care of the child.

Difficult Rules for Your Ex Mean Difficult Rules for You

Whether it’s to punish your ex or out of a sincere desire to protect your children from what you see as a threat, proposing difficult rules such as those that limit communication between the child and the other parent or restricting where and how the other parent can see the child can come back to bite you later.

Those same rules can be imposed on you, not to mention you may find it difficult to not only enforce those rules, but simply live by them. Give plenty of thought before devising complex rules of communication and visitation with your ex-spouse.

Always Put the Children First

Chances are, no matter how it goes, there will be at least one aspect to the child custody agreement that you won’t be happy with.

It’s imperative that you put the needs and best interests of your children first. Even if it means you travel more, or see your children less than you would like, putting the kids first is always best.

Never Badmouth Your Ex

Never tell your kids anything bad about their parent. If you must vent, vent to trusted adults when the kids aren’t around. Keep things positive with the kids, and encourage a healthy relationship with their other parent.

Encouraging a healthy relationship with the other parent is one of the best ways to ensure that your own relationship with the child stays healthy.

Putting the kids first is the best way to encourage healthy relationships all the way around. It’s also the best way to ensure a custody agreement that is best for the kids and as fair as possible to both parents. A child custody lawyer from places like Kelm & Reuter PA can help ensure that you reach an agreement as easily and quickly as possible.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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