Are you searching for a way to reduce conflict during child custody and parenting time negotiations? If you are considering a shared or joint parenting situation it is important to develop a strategy to minimize the likelihood of conflict during the course of a divorce. Most parties in a divorce don’t realize how closely the Judge is observing their behavior in and out of Court. The Judge must decide for themselves if you are fit, prepared and capable of protecting your child’s best interests and co-parenting during and after the divorce. Your strategy should be to do everything possible to protect your own interests as a parent while you work through the negotiations, mediation or trial associated with child custody and parenting time issues.
One of the most effective ways to reduce conflict during child custody and parenting time negotiations is to choose not to communicate when you are angry or upset. An angry text, email or voicemail can be used as evidence against you before the Court. The best strategy is to monitor your own level of comfort, and the moment you start to get a little upset or angry simply send a communication to the effect of “I need to think about this a little more. Let me get back to you later/tomorrow/next week, etc.
Another strategy to reduce conflict during child custody and parenting time negotiations is to focus on the concept which is the foundation and guiding principle of family law in these matters: the best interest of the child. The first question the Judge will ask is “what is in the best interest of the child?” Approach each element of the conversation by first asking yourself “what is best for (child’s name)?” This takes the focus (and energy) off of yourself and a former spouse and re-centers your thinking on what is best for your child. This should also be foremost in your mind when you are considering a new place to live and how you’re going to help to preserve as much of each child’s existing patterns as possible.