The great irony about breakups is that, in many cases, if former spouses could communicate well or get along, they might have stayed together. Sadly, walking away from somebody you don’t love anymore – or possibly can’t stand – isn’t an option when you have children together.
So – how can you negotiate custody arrangements and communicate effectively if your former greatest love is now the opposite?
- Make sure that you are considering the needs of the kids first. While it might be tempting to try and keep them away from your ex, don’t arbitrarily destroy their relationship with their other parent. Of course, there are valid reasons to seek sole or main custody, for example when violence, abuse or substance issues are involved.
- If possible, attempt to come to an amicable agreement on custody rights, whether this is in person, solely through email or through your lawyers if necessary.
- Ensure that your custody arrangements are comprehensive. You don’t want to be revisiting issues every few months, especially if you and your ex don’t get along. Try and give thought to issues early on, even if they seem a long way into the future. This could include trying to reach some general agreement on high school.
- If you cannot be civil in front of each other, arrange for handovers to take place in a neutral location such as a playground or possibly even a police station.
If you need help negotiating the best possible custody arrangements for you and your kids, contact our team.