By Dani Taylor
We all want the best for our kids, whether it’s the best schools, the best opportunities and even the best arrangements when it comes to child custody. The first thing we must realize is that cutting our ex spouse out of our child’s life in order to hurt the spouse is NOT what’s best for the child.
Never keep your child away from your spouse because you are angry at them. Your child could end up resenting you or being very hurt because they’re unable to see their other parent. Once you understand this, there are some other great tips to negotiate the best arrangement for your child.
Try to Compromise with Your Spouse – The best kind of arrangement is one where you and your spouse are able to see the kids equally. Of course, they will need one stable environment to reside at during the week, but perhaps your spouse could see them daily by offering to drive them home from school. By compromising with your spouse and removing your feelings from the situation when you’re negotiating, you can arrange what is absolutely best for your kids.
The Primary Residence or Guardian – Typically, if parents can’t decide who the child will primarily reside with, the judge decides based on several things. For the most part, the person who has been the child’s primary caretaker for most of his or her life will have a good chance of becoming the primary guardian. This may mean the person who has handled school issues, doctor or medical appointments and other important things. The judge will also take into consideration who is best able to provide for the child and similar important factors. Remember this when you’re negotiating the best arrangement for your child.
If Your Child is Over the Age of 11 – When your child is around the age of 11 or older, he or she may have a large say so in where they stay. What is your child’s opinion and who does he or she desire to live with? You should definitely take this into account because in the event that you and your spouse cannot decide where the child should live, the judge will want to hear from your child. Of course, the judge will not put the child with a parent that is unfit, even if the child desires to be with them, but the child’s opinion will greatly affect the custody case.
Be Reasonable – If your spouse is a good parent, do not be against the idea of visitation. If there is no reason why you should want to keep your spouse away from their kids other than because you want to, the judge will not think you’re being reasonable or fair and it could look bad for you. Also, your spouse’s attorney could grasp onto that and make it seem as if you’re trying to hurt your spouse and your children because of your own childish emotions.
Although divorce is difficult and custody cases sometimes become nasty, these tips will help you know how to negotiate the best possible arrangement for your child. By taking these into consideration, you will be better able to negotiate to the type of arrangement you want, your child wants and your spouse wants.
About the Author: Danielle L. Taylor is a freelance writer and mom of 3, who’s gone through a devastating divorce with her husband of 15 years (after his infidelity) and was able to get back on track as a strong, happy and free person. She is a member of
one of the most active online divorce communities, where people find support, help and understanding.