Divorce can be very difficult to go through. The situation can be made even more unpleasant when child custody is involved. Divorce proceedings that involve child custody issues can take a long time to battle out in court, which means more legal expenses for both sides. These days, more former couples are choosing to avoid the courtroom when it comes to deciding child custody. Here are three tips for resolving child custody issues without having to fight in court.
1. Leave your emotional baggage out of the child custody discussions.
Divorce can leave a person with some very raw feelings - especially if the marriage ended because of the other person's infidelity. It is important that you leave your emotional baggage relating to the divorce outside of your child custody discussions. After all, even the best of parents make mistakes in their marriages that lead to divorce.
2. Be willing to compromise with your ex.
Everyone always hears about parents who choose to have little to no contact with their children after a divorce. However, if your ex wants to be in your child's life on a regular basis after the divorce, you need to be willing to compromise and let them do that. That means, if your ex wants you both to share custody equally so the child spends the same amount of time with both parents, you owe it to your child to allow this.
Of course, that doesn't mean you need to let your ex walk all over you or bully you into giving them everything they want. It simply means that you need to approach the discussion with the idea that you don't want to remove the other parent from the child's life.
Figuring out holiday schedules can be difficult. Many people will divide holidays by year - one parent gets the child on these particular holidays on even-numbered years, while the other parent gets them on odd-numbered years. This is a good way to compromise on the holiday schedule, but it may not work for everyone. For instance, if you know that your ex's family always celebrates Christmas together on Christmas Eve, it can make more sense to allow your child to be with their other parent at least for their family's Christmas Eve festivities every year.
3. Seek out mediation services if needed.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may not be able to reach an amicable child custody agreement with your ex by talking to them alone. That doesn't mean you have prepare for a long battle in family court. Instead, you can hire a mediator to help you come up with a child custody agreement you can both agree to.
A mediator is a third party who has no vested interest in the outcome of the discussion. That means they won't seek an arrangement that is more beneficial to one party over the other. Their job is to find the best way to accommodate both of you, as well as the children, in the custody agreement.
One thing that appeals to many exes about going through mediation to create a child custody agreement is that it saves them time and money. Another thing: if things are particularly hostile between the two of you, you can each speak with the mediator separately.
The mediator will take both of your demands into consideration before drafting an agreement for you each to approve. After an agreement has been signed by both parents, the mediator will file it with family court for approval. Once the judge signs off on the child custody agreement, it will be legally-binding and can only be changed by going to court or through mediation again.
For more information, speak with professionals like the Fleishman Law Office SC.