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3 tips for negotiating your child custody arrangements

In most cases, child custody negotiations go smoothly because both parents recognize that spending as much time as possible with both parents is in the best interest of the child. However, circumstances could arise that prevent the parents from being able to agree upon a suitable child custody arrangement.

If you're in the throes of a serious child custody disagreement, there are several things to keep in mind. If anything, these tips will help you navigate the disagreement in a psychologically healthy way -- and, hopefully, they also will help you arrive at an agreement faster and more economically.

1. It probably doesn't matter how bad you think your ex is

Unless your ex has been sexually or physically abusive in the past, he or she will probably get to spend time with your children. It could work against you to speak poorly of your ex-spouse unless you have a very good and clear reason for doing so.

Infidelity, laziness and other character flaws like this could land on deaf ears in family law court because, above all else, the family court judge knows that barring some kind of extreme situation, your children are better off having a relationship with your ex regardless of his or her character defects.

2. The needs of the child are most important

Family law courts will hold your child's best interests first above all other concerns. If what you or your spouse want falls out of alignment with the clear needs and best interests of the child or children involved, the child's best interests will always win. By aligning your desires for the child custody agreement with the best interests of your child, you will fast-track your way to achieving your goals.

3. Find the right balance between rules and flexibility

You can lay down a lot of rules and guidelines in your parenting plan to ensure that you and your ex are on the right page regarding what's expected of one another. However, you also want to keep things flexible enough that you don't paint yourself into a corner. It's not uncommon for parents to place too many rules and requirements on one another, which can make the lives of both parents difficult in the long run.

Are you ready to create the right kind of child custody agreement?

If you and your spouse can work together peacefully to reach an agreement, and if you intelligently work toward an agreement that honors the best interests of your children, you will make both of your lives -- and the lives of your child -- enormously easier. If you're ready to create a child custody agreement that works, plan ahead, and plan intelligently and responsibly.

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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