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Determining a child custody plan will require negotiations

The parenting plan between you and your ex governs what will happen with your children. The terms of the plan have to be tailored to the circumstances of your situation. You and your ex can come up with this plan by working together. This ensures that your child's interests are being considered.

There are many ways that you and your ex can come up with the terms. Here are a few points to remember as you try to work things out:

Try to stay calm

The matters that you will discuss during the child custody negotiations are likely going to be difficult. There are many, such as where the child will be for holidays, that might become a battle. Even when you are tempted to get angry, try to remain calm. This can give you an advantage of being able to think clearly about each option.

Think about your children

It is easy to forget that your children have to be at the heart of every decision that you make for child custody. As you look at the options, think about how they will impact your children. If your children are old enough and if it is appropriate, you might want to give them a say in the matters.

Listen to each other

Even though you and your ex aren't married any longer, you should still be willing to work as a team when it comes to the kids. You might be surprised at how thinking outside of the box resolves things. By setting the standard for being willing to listen to each other now, you might find that issues are more easily handled in the future. This also presents a united front to the children, which can make their childhood more stable. As a bonus, your children can learn a lot about working together by watching you and your ex during this process.

Set conflict resolution standards

There are bound to be contentious matters that come up over the years. When you are working out the child custody terms, you can set the standards for conflict resolution. This might include turning to a mediator when the issues can't be worked out between the two parents. You should also include terms that forbid the children from acting as messengers or having to be dragged into the middle of the situation.

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