It can feel devastating to deal with a custody dispute with your spouse. You both once worked together to raise your children, but you’re now dealing with a situation that doesn’t seem to have a positive resolution in sight.
One on hand, you want to negotiate and be reasonable. On the other, they’re making your life very difficult, so it’s easy to want to shut down and stop communicating. What should you do?
No custody issues ever have to turn into a fight
You and your spouse should talk to each other about the benefits of not allowing disputes to turn into full-on warfare in the courtroom. Being able to settle your differences and figure out a custody plan that is in the best interests of your children is possible if you both commit to sitting down and working through the issues together.
If you go to court, there is a chance that a judge will not agree with either of you and will come up with a custody schedule that isn’t exactly what you were hoping for. When you work out your custody issues together in advance, you improve the chances of getting the time you want with your kids and having an arrangement that works well with your other responsibilities.
- Settling the dispute through informal negotiations
- Alternative dispute resolution options like mediation or arbitration
- Collaborative law options
You don’t have to allow a dispute to devolve into a fight. Instead, it’s appropriate to address this more like a business arrangement.
Think about these questions to get started
What’s best for your child? What can you agree on? What don’t you agree on? Is there a schedule that will work for now that may need to be altered later?
Ask yourself these questions and others to find your footing, and then consider discussing the options you’ve come up with together with your spouse. If you can’t move forward from there, you may need to consider mediating or litigating your case.