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How to negotiate a child custody schedule that works for everyone

Family courts in Minnesota look out for the best interests of the child—as do most parents. But would you consider pulling your child into battle to be in their best interests?

Some 1.5 million children in the U.S. are affected by divorce. Research has shown that high levels of conflict between parents—both during and after the divorce—contribute to poorer adjustment in children. Spare your children unnecessary drama by finding a way to avoid litigation. Find a way to agree.

The greatest victory is that which requires no battle. ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

During a divorce, emotions are raw, trust can be hard to come by and tempers often flare. But setting these aside to focus on what’s best for your children will allow you to work together to arrive at a schedule without fighting or litigation. Here are some things to keep in mind for your negotiations:

  • Prepare: Know the Minnesota child custody laws and have an attorney that can help craft a parenting plan that fits your unique situation.
  • Be calm and polite: Take a deep breath and don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
  • Be flexible: Being flexible goes a long way to reaching an agreement that works for your family.
  • Be careful of rules you suggest: This is where karma may come in. If you propose rules that make life difficult for the other parent, chances are these rules will end up being difficult for you as well.
  • Stick to your plan: Communicate when something comes up or circumstances change; otherwise, you’ll want to follow the agreed-upon plan. A helpful site for co-parenting, offers tools for coordinating custody schedules, splitting expenses and sharing your children’s health records.

Minnesota has very specific laws regarding custody and parenting rights. An experienced divorce attorney can protect your rights during negotiations while putting the needs of the children first.

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