As you prepare for your divorce, it’s important to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. They’re going through a difficult time in their life, so anything you can do to help is something you should consider.

Negotiating a parenting plan with your soon-to-be ex-spouse can be a challenge, as the two of you may not see eye to eye. However, if you’re both interested in what’s best for your children, you’ll eventually settle on a plan that suits everyone.

Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Keep an open mind: When negotiating, it’s critical to realize that you won’t get everything you want. A big part of the negotiation process is compromise. When you both keep an open mind, it’s easier to work through your disagreements.
  • Focus on what’s most important: When creating a parenting plan, your primary focus should turn to details such as who has physical custody, who has legal custody (it can be the both of you), visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and a schedule for events such as vacations and holidays.
  • Stay calm: Even when things aren’t going your way, perhaps because the other individual isn’t cooperating, keep your cool and stick to your plan. If you let your emotions get the best of you, it will cloud your judgment and cause you to make rash decisions. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with stepping away from negotiations if you need time to reset and rethink your approach.
  • Stick to your plan: Even though flexibility is important to settling on a parenting plan that works for both parents, don’t agree to anything that you’ll regret in the future. You have a plan as you begin the process, so do your best to stick with it.

You never know what will happen as you begin to negotiate a parenting plan. Everything may go as planned, or you could find yourself facing one challenge and setback after the next.

When you have a plan and understand your legal rights, it’s much easier to make decisions that will work in favor of both you and your children in the future.