Statistics show that marriage isn’t as common as it once was among earlier generations of Americans. Although you can argue upsides and downsides of this decline in marriage rates, it’s great that modern Americans deal with fewer divorces than they used to. Still, thousands of families across the state of California deal with divorce. Although making the post-divorce transition easy on children is a primary goal of most couples, many divorced households struggle to make things work.
Agreeing on a parenting schedule outside of court
It’s true that divorce is an inherently legal process. As such, judges always have input over divorces. Although divorce is rarely easy, courts want spouses to come to terms on their own. Even if you struggle to get along with your spouse, do everything possible to reach a parenting schedule before asking a judge to create one for you. You can begin parenting schedule negotiations with your spouse in private or by inviting both of your attorneys along.
You may feel pressured to negotiate in private without a divorce attorney present. Even if you trust your partner, always consult a divorce attorney before entering these negotiations. Feel free to turn down these requests in favor of having your attorney accompany you. It’s much better than having a judge decide the parenting schedule for you.
Don’t view outcomes as “winning” or “losing”
Going into negotiations with the intention of beating your partner isn’t healthy. This mindset often results in parenting agreements that place children’s priorities behind parents’ needs. Your child’s priorities should always come before your own. Enter the divorce with your children as your number-one priority.
Agree on who will make decisions
Creating child custody and visitation agreements without settling on who will make child-related decisions is begging for a bad outcome. Even if you don’t leave negotiations with decision-making abilities, it’s much better to know who will make the choices than to have decision-making left up in the air.
If co-parenting agreements seem difficult, it’s because they are. Rather than getting an unfair outcome on your own, bring a trained divorce attorney into the mix to improve your chances of getting better results for you, your partner, and your children.