Tempers are often lost and compromises hard to make during divorce negotiations in Florida and around the country when delicate issues like alimony and property division are on the table. However, even the most acrimonious of couples may be able to see beyond their differences when the welfare of their children is at stake. Few parents would place their well-being above that of their children, and most experts agree that working out amicable child custody and visitation arrangements is easier when both parents keep that in mind.
The divorce process is often adversarial, but bitter child custody disputes are becoming rarer as more and more research highlights the myriad benefits of co-parenting solutions. Children who spend ample time with both of their parents tend to fare better, and having consistent rules to follow prevents them from manipulating one parent to gain an advantage over the other. Parents who cooperate despite not liking one another also set a powerful example that can greatly benefit their children later in life.
To keep co-parenting arrangements on track, experts recommend that a clear set of rules be established early on. Just as children do better when they know where they stand, parents may be less likely to make mistakes when expectations are clearly spelled out. Using children as pawns, messengers or sounding boards during disputes are common pitfalls that parents should avoid at all costs.
When divorcing spouses have become entrenched in their issues, it can be difficult for even experienced family law attorneys to help them avoid becoming embroiled in costly and public court battles. Therefore, a lawyer may choose to tackle child custody and visitation agreements early in the negotiations to set the groundwork for cooperation and compromise later on. Attorneys could also recommend less adversarial alternatives such as a divorce mediation when traditional negotiations fail to yield an amicable agreement.