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Parenting plan terms must benefit the children

Coming to the terms of a child custody agreement doesn't have to involve an all-out battle. Instead, you and your ex can put the kids first and make decisions that benefit them. This might not end up with all of your wishes being met, but you can still have a productive parenting plan.

There are several things that you must remember when you are trying to come up with the terms of the child custody plan. These can all help you during the negotiations, but they also help you to set up the future parenting relationship.

Think about the rules you ask for

During the negotiation process, you and your ex will decide on what terms you will include in the child custody agreement. Make sure that you think carefully about these because they will govern your actions, as well as your ex's. You have to consider how they might be construed so that you can determine whether they are realistic or not.

Be careful about the claims you make

It might be tempting to belittle your ex, but the child custody negotiations aren't the appropriate place for this. Unless there was abuse, you don't have to discuss your ex's behavior. It is important to ensure that the children have a safe environment when they visit each parent. Things that directly impact their safety should be brought up, but other points are best left alone.

Consider the child's needs with every decision

With very few exceptions, children deserve to know both parents. Each decision you make must work toward the goal of enabling them to have a meaningful relationship with their parents and extended family members, and the decisions should enable them to live a fulfilling life. Children need to be given an environment in which they can thrive, so consider how each option you have during this process might make this easier or more difficult for the children.

Set terms for communication

Children will often try to play one parent against the other. When you are setting the parenting plan terms, make sure that there are methods of communication open for you and your ex. It might not be easy to discuss matters but you don't want to leave your children an avenue open to capitalize on manipulating you.

Remember, you need to set the terms according to what the child's life is like now. As they mature and situations change, you can always modify the terms of the parenting plan.

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