You and your ex have called it quits, but you still have many years to deal with each other because you have children together. One of the most important things that you have focus on is the child custody agreement that will govern how you and your ex parent your children.
No matter how contentious the rest of the divorce is, you and your ex should try to work out the points of the parenting agreement. Not only does this help you to get this ironed out quickly, it can also help to ensure that the plan is tailored to each child's needs. Here are some tips to help you work through the process:
Focus on your children
Your children are the only topic that matters in these cases. You shouldn't think about other things when you are trying to work out the parenting agreement. This isn't the time to talk about finances or property. Instead, focus on only the parenting agreement. Once that is worked out, you can move on to other areas of the child custody agreement.
Think realistically about what your children's schedule is like before you make any plans for child custody. You have to think beyond just basic school schedules. Also think about extracurricular activities and other social events. What works for a toddler probably isn't going to work well for a teenager, so take the child's age into consideration.
Plan for give and take
Give and take is a big part of child custody mediation. You have to be willing to work with your ex. As you go over each point to decide, think about what your child needs and not what you want. This could help to make the decisions a bit easier. In any case, you will likely have some touch decisions to make.
Talk about the money last
One of the final things that you need to think about is the money. Child support, medical insurance, out-of-pocket medical expenses, school tuition and costs, and extracurricular activity costs are some of the costs that you have to consider during this phase of the negotiations. As you negotiate here, remember that there are laws that dictate the child support formula terms.
Ultimately, you have to make decisions based on what you think is best for your child. You have to make sure that your plans are within the legal guidelines that apply to your case. Go into the sessions with an open mind and set your child up for success.