The Dos and Don’ts of child custody negotiations

Child custody negotiations can be a trying and emotional time for divorcing couples. It is an essential step in ensuring that the children’s best interests are taken into account when determining who will have custody of them. Here are some dos and don’ts that can help make the child custody negotiations process more manageable.


1. Put the Children First: In any custody negotiation, the child’s best interests must be the primary consideration. It is crucial to focus on what will benefit the children, rather than what parents want.

2. Be Open to Compromise: Negotiations can be challenging, but it is essential to be open to potential solutions that may not have been considered previously. A willingness to compromise can help achieve an agreement that works for both parties.

3. Hire an Experienced Attorney: An experienced family law attorney can provide invaluable assistance and guidance throughout the custody negotiations process. An attorney can provide advise on what a court would likely consider.

4. Communication: Communication is key in any negotiation. It is essential to listen to the other party and articulate your perspective clearly.

5. Stick to the Plan: Once an agreement has been reached, it is important to stick to it. A court approved child custody agreement cannot be changed without the agreement of both parties or a court order.


1. Use the Children as Leverage: It is essential to remember that the children are not bargaining chips in custody negotiations. Using them as leverage can cause short and long-term harm to them.

2. Withholding Visitation: Refusing to allow the other parent to visit the children violates a custody order and can risk losing custody.

3. Speak Negatively About the Other Parent: Speaking negatively about the other parent in front of the children can be damaging and may sway a court to award custody to the other party if repeated regularly. Speak about the other parent in a positive and productive manner, the kids will thank you later.

4. Resisting Court Orders: Fighting against court orders may trigger an investigation and may cause you to be denied future custody.

5. Overreacting: It is easy to get emotional when dealing with child custody. It is important to remain calm and rational. Making decisions based on emotions can lead to unwanted consequences.


Child custody negotiations can be difficult, but with patience, composure, and a focus on the welfare of the children involved, you can achieve a mutually beneficial child custody agreement. You can heighten your chances of a positive outcome with the help of an experienced attorney. Remember that it is essential to put the children’s best interests first at all times. Follow the above dos and don’ts to ensure a successful outcome.

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