This may be difficult to believe at the outset of a child custody dispute, but win-win solutions are possible. Co-parenting plans can be created that enable both parents to enjoy meaningful relationships with their children.
These plans require three important ingredients. We call them the three Cs of successful child custody arrangements.
You may be surprised at how many variations of child custody arrangements are possible with the help of a lawyer who knows the law and the available options. You do not have to have a rigid, prescribed child custody plan. Creative co-parenting plans can be achieved through negotiation and alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. Be aware that if you take a dispute to trial, arrangements will be determined by a judge who may not have the time or flexibility to get creative.
While you and the other parent may not currently see eye to eye, it is important to understand that, if your child is still young, you have many years of working together ahead of you. A successful parenting relationship requires communication. Be willing to express your concerns. Be upfront about what you want. Be clear when you believe the other parent has done something wrong. Be willing to listen to the other parent’s concerns and wishes, and do not make assumptions. An experienced attorney can help to open channels of communication.
This one can be difficult. If you give an inch, you may be worried that the other parent will take a mile. Perhaps you feel resentful because the other parent was unwilling to compromise in the past on an issue that was important to you. Whenever possible, try to be flexible. However, if the other parent tries to do something that you do not believe is fair, be willing to push back. A lawyer can help you protect your relationship with your child while opening doors for compromise when appropriate.
At Weinman & Associates in Austin, we have more than 20 years of experience guiding parents through child custody issues. Our founding attorney has been board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2000. We can help you navigate the three Cs and pursue fair child custody arrangements.