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Child custody negotiations require proper planning

When a parent in California plans to file for divorce, there are many issues that will need careful prior consideration. One of those is child custody, and entering negotiations unprepared may not be wise. Some couples may need the guidance of a mediator and their respective legal representatives to facilitate negotiations, and the help of therapists or counselors may even be necessary. It may also be a good idea to make a list of demands in advance and to anticipate what the other parent will demand.

Child custody negotiations may be best done at a time and place that will suit both parties. Doing it where the other party feels uncomfortable or at a time that will cause him or her to be rushed or frustrated due to other obligations may hamper these discussions. In some cases, it is necessary to schedule more than one meeting -- especially if one parent insists on time to consider different options.

When drafting a list of demands, it might be wise to include motivations for all requests to have answers ready for any challenges by the other person. When planning the negotiations, the relationship that exists between the parents will likely indicate whether talks will be amicable or argumentative. Being prepared may allow an appropriate approach to ensure the best interests of the children remain the primary concern rather than the feeling of the parents toward each other.

While most California parents want what is best for their children after a divorce, they do not always agree on what exactly would be best. For this reason, family law attorneys often have resources to assist with the facilitation of child custody negotiations. While the services of  mediators could be invaluable, they may not provide legal advice. However, each parent's attorney may be present to provide the necessary legal support and guidance.

Source:, "Negotiating Child Custody", Audrey M. Jones, Accessed on Dec. 15, 2017

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