If you have kids and are separated or divorced, this post is for you – especially if you want to stay out of court.
The big takeaway is this – be able to master the Herculean task of negotiating and working with the other parent.
If you’re not yet divorced, custody and parenting time arrangements will need to be made for your children. The least contentious and less costly way is to come to an agreement with the other parent.
The custody and parenting time arrangements are then finalized in a written legal document. To find out what to include in a custody and parenting time order, check out this post.
But what if you’re already divorced and need to change your original custody and parenting time terms? The new agreement would typically be in the form of a “consent order” that gets signed by the judge and entered by the court.
Specifically, you might wish to change the terms of your original custody and parenting time if, for example:
- One parent intends to move or has moved closer to the other parent;
- The child wishes to spend more time with the other parent; or
- One or both parents’ work schedule has changed.
In such situations, you might consider working with the other parent instead of going to court.
After all, going to court is incredibly expensive and unpredictable. Not to mention, the emotional costs involved in ongoing acrimony without resolution.
To work together, it’s important to keep front and center in your mind your desire to remain amicable to ease the emotional strain on your kids. It’s generally easier to navigate the terrain when you know where you want to end up.
Next, get curious. Find out as much as you can about the other parent’s views. Relay that it’s important that you understand where he or she is coming from. That way, you’re better able to both come up with a solution that works for both of you and most importantly, your children.
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