The key to avoiding parental conflict after a divorce lies in the strength of a solid parenting agreement. When you filed a petition in a Michigan court to part ways with your spouse, you understood that the two of you would always have a need for interaction regarding your kids. You can take steps ahead of time to avoid child custody disputes, especially those that stem from a difference in parenting styles.
You and your ex may have differed in your parenting styles right from the start. In fact, that may have been a trigger for arguments in your marriage. It’s one thing, following a divorce, to have a difference of opinion about parenting. It’s quite another, however, when such differences blow up into legal battles that require the court’s intervention to resolve.
Optimize your child custody agreement
One of the benefits of negotiation is that it enables you to create a child custody agreement based on your children’s needs and best interests. You can avoid many disputes through amicable discussion and careful planning. For example, considering both parents’ work schedules, distance between households and daily involvement in the children’s lives (Does one parent coach or volunteer at school, for instance?) helps create a plan that’s workable on both sides.
Agree about expenses in writing
Money is a central issue in many marital arguments. It’s a mistake to think contention won’t arise regarding finances once you are divorced. In fact, if you haven’t incorporated terms of agreement into your parenting plan, you might wind up fighting over money more than you did when you were married.
To avoid this, compile a list of expenses and issues related to financial responsibility, determine who will pay for what, and put it in writing as part of your parenting agreement. Beyond that, it’s helpful if both parents are willing to cooperate and compromise, realizing that sometimes unexpected expenses arise, and it doesn’t have to be a cause for child custody problems.
Plan how you will communicate
If you and your ex don’t get along, chances are high that you will disagree about child custody issues as time passes. You can take steps ahead of time to avoid conflict. For instance, agree to correspond by text message or email only if you typically wind up arguing when you see each other in person.
You can also seek outside support (from a family law attorney, perhaps) for assistance in crafting a child custody agreement. Someone who is up to date on Michigan custody guidelines can recommend terms of agreement or verbiage that will help create a thorough and solid plan. The more well-written a parenting agreement is, the less room there is for disputes, and the easier it might be to resolve those that arise.