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How to Negotiate a Child Custody Agreement With a Difficult Ex

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You may have decided to end things with your ex because they are a difficult person, but if you’ve got kids, getting away from that isn’t always easy. Of course, you want your kids to have a relationship with both parents, but if you’ve got an ex-partner who’s always trying to have things their way and isn’t listening to any suggestions that you make to try and make things easier for the whole family, you’ve got a battle on your hands. Thankfully, help is out there to help you navigate a child custody arrangement with an ex who doesn’t know how to compromise.

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Consider a Family Lawyer:

Family law lawyers have dealt with it all before and know exactly what to do to help you and your ex come to an amicable agreement about the kids. If you’ve been going back and forth with your ex for what seems like forever and nobody wants to budge, a family lawyer can get in the middle and start to help you both see things from their objective point of view and put the main interests of your children first.

Try Mediation:

Mediation is a great alternative to court if you feel that you and your ex might be able to sit down and work something that works for everybody out if you have a little bit of help. Mediation is not as formal as court and is designed to assist you both to come to an amicable agreement rather than have a ruling forced upon you by a judge. It’s definitely worth taking this route to see if it could be what you need before taking the case to court.

Be Flexible:

Flexibility is key if you want to keep your child custody issue out of the courtroom and come to an amicable agreement on your own. It’s a wise idea to pick your battles and consider what’s worth putting your foot down for and what you can let slide. And more importantly, listen to your kids and base a flexible custody agreement around them and their customized needs, taking into account their schedules, ages, and their wants. Generally speaking, mental health professionals recommend shorter and more frequent stays for younger children, which can gradually increase in length as they get older.

Keep Your Cool:

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with an ex who’s being difficult and won’t listen to a word that you have to say when you just want to agree on something that’s best for the kids. But it’s important to keep your cool and avoid bad-mouthing the other parent in front of the children or retaliating by keeping the kids from them, no matter how tempting it can be when they’ve really got to you. You may find it helpful to talk your own frustrations through in a safe space with a therapist who can validate your feeling and help you come up with healthy ways to get through the situation.

Dealing with a child custody battle is rarely easy, and even harder when your ex-partner is determined to be difficult. Keep the above in mind to improve your chance of coming to an agreement that everybody can work with.