Getting a divorce is easier said than done, especially when kids are involved. You have to deal with the confusing and seemingly never-ending legal process, not to mention the overwhelming emotional stress of ending a relationship. In real life, the process is anything, but what you see in the movies.
One of the critical steps involved in a divorce is negotiating a parenting schedule. Creating a custody schedule allows you to ensure your children get to spend enough time with both parents. It helps in maintaining the emotional and physical well-being of your kids. With the help of experienced St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers, you can create and negotiate a balanced parenting schedule.
Here are a few tips that will help you in the negotiations.
1. Understand Family Law
Even though you and your soon-to-be-ex can create a parenting schedule yourselves, you will need to abide by the state’s family law. You can’t put in clauses or conditions that aren’t acceptable in the court. So, you will need to study Missouri family law.
However, family law is complicated, making it challenging for a person without a legal background to understand it thoroughly. You will have to spend considerable time studying different statutes and even previous cases and precedents. That said, it can be tough to wear multiple hats during a divorce as you are under significant emotional stress.
The good news is, with the help of St. Louis divorce lawyers, you can create a much better parenting schedule. Although you will be spending some money, it can save a lot of your time and additional emotional stress. It also ensures that your custody schedule stands in the court. Hiring St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers with a proven track record is worth every penny you spend.
2. Create a Detailed Parenting Plan
The best way to ensure you can negotiate a suitable parenting schedule is to cover every small detail in your plan. It should clearly outline how you and your ex will be making both the day-to-day and the bigger decisions. You will also need to plan how you will handle the legal child custody. You will have to think about the finances of your children as well, including educational and other expenses and investments.
However, you have to create a parenting schedule that works for everyone, not just you. Usually, a 50-50 custody schedule is preferred by divorcing parents. But, it may not work in the best interest of children and parents in some cases. You can talk to your ex and attorneys to come up with a plan that works for everyone.
As mentioned, you can work with St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers to create a comprehensive parenting plan. As lawyers often formulate parenting schedules for different types of divorce cases, they are more experienced in creating a thorough plan.
3. Communicate, Don’t Quarrel
Divorce mediation is a method of resolving your legal separation issues without going to court. As a result, you have to focus on communicating with your now-separated spouse. You must remember that this is an emotionally stressful time for you and everyone involved in the divorce. Quarreling with the other party isn’t going to get you anywhere during the mediation.
If it is difficult for you to talk directly to your soon-to-be-ex, you can ask your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers to take charge of communication. It is not legally required to have your attorneys present during divorce mediation. However, you can get help from your lawyer if you think it is the best possible way to resolve the conflict and reach a mutually beneficial parenting decision.
4. Put Your Children’s Best Interests above Everything Else
An excellent parenting plan focuses on the best interest of your kids. As mentioned, mediation is not about you or the other parent. It is about the mental and physical well-being of your children. It includes considerations related to the kids’ food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical treatment, along with other factors that ensure excellent mental health.
As a parent, you may already know what is in the best interest of your kids. However, you do need to hear what the other parent has to say. Make sure to consider how your work schedule, the distance between your and the other parent’s home, change in extracurricular activities, and the school can affect your children when negotiating a parenting schedule. You can also talk to your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers to ensure your children’s best interest.
5. Define Your Parenting Goals
When it comes to negotiating a parenting schedule, you also need to define your parenting goals. To make your parenting plan succeed, your goals and the plan details need to match. You will also need to think about the current and future commitments you can make as a parent to your children when creating the plan.
Make sure to talk about this with the other parent. The parenting schedule negotiation is going to be a give-and-take. In other words, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That’s why you have to list the issues you are flexible about and those that you can’t compromise on. Talk to your St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers to figure out your goals.
Creating the perfect parenting schedule is easier said than done. However, divorce mediation does offer an excellent way to resolve your parenting custody issues amicably. Just make sure to create a parenting schedule that benefits your children because their well-being should be your first priority. Hopefully, these five tips will help you create a successful and comprehensive custody schedule.
Talk to Experienced St. Louis Divorce Mediation Lawyers Now
J Rench Law Firm, LLC, has a team of experienced and skilled St. Louis divorce mediation lawyers who will leave no stone unturned when working on your case. Whatever legal advice you need when getting divorced or fighting for child custody, we are here to help. You can call (314) 725-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.