When couples with children get a divorce or separation, they often struggle to come to terms with the custody of their children. There are different types of custody arrangements, such as sole custody, joint physical custody, and joint legal custody. One of the best options, which both parents may find acceptable, is joint custody.
Joint custody is an arrangement in which both parents share legal and physical custody of their children. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody is the right to have the child live with the parent on a daily basis. Joint custody is usually in the child’s best interest since he can maintain close relationships with both parents.
To gain joint custody, divorced parents must undergo negotiation and compromise. The following are some tips for successful negotiations:
1. Prioritize the Child’s Interest: Before starting discussions on joint custody, both parents must prioritize the child’s needs in front of their own. They must both reflect on their reasons for wanting custody and aim to cooperate with one another.
2. Hire Experienced Lawyers: Both parents should hire experienced family lawyers to help them through the legal process. The lawyers will help to create a parenting plan that outlines how the child will spend time with both parents, how important decisions will be made, and how parents will communicate about the child’s needs.
3. Communicate Effectively: Communication is key to successfully negotiating joint custody. Both parties must listen to each other’s perspectives and concerns and address them accordingly. They must also be honest and clear on their intentions and not blame each other for their failed marriage and custody dispute.
4. Attend Mediation Sessions: To resolve contentious issues, parents are encouraged to attend mediation sessions. In mediation sessions, a neutral third party will facilitate negotiations between the two parties. Mediation allows both parties to express their thoughts and feelings, and the mediator helps them reach a mutual agreement on custody.
5. Be Flexible: To confidently negotiate joint custody, both parties must compromise by being flexible with scheduling, pick-up and drop-off times, and other arrangements. Respectful consideration of parent’s work schedule and other commitments are important for the child to spend time with both parents.
In conclusion, joint custody should be a primary objective in all custody disputes between divorced parents. It is difficult to gain but usually it benefits the child’s life in the long run. As difficult as the negotiation session may be, effective communication, flexibility, and prioritizing the child’s interest all contribute to a successful outcome.