Trying to work out a child custody agreement requires you and your ex to work as a team. If this isn’t possible, the court will end up imposing its own terms. Typically, an agreement by the parents is the best option since they know their child and their situations best. If you and your ex are going to try to work out the terms of your parenting plan, you should go into the negotiations prepared so that you might be able to minimize your stress. 

First, remember that your child’s needs are the only priority. You have to consider what’s better for them and take yourself out of the situation. In almost every case, children thrive most when they have access to and relationships with both parents, although there are exceptions (like when one parent is abusive or has an addiction). Even in situations where unrestricted access to the other parent isn’t a great idea, supervised visitation may be warranted.

Second, don’t speak negatively about your child’s other parent unless you want to sour the negotiations completely. Don’t try to “badmouth” your ex to the court or to anyone else. Even if your ex was a horrible spouse, they can still be a good parent. As you negotiate your agreement, focusing on the positive aspects of their parenting might make things easier for you.

Third, make sure all your agreements are clearly documented in writing. The parenting plan that you set should relay the terms of the agreement in a way that doesn’t leave room for any misunderstanding. This can help to take the questions out of the situation.