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5 Tips for Negotiating a Better Child Custody Agreement

If you are facing a child custody concern, not only are your parental rights on the line, but your heartstrings are also being pulled, and it’s an all-around difficult situation. When it comes to child custody, having professional legal counsel on your side is always the best policy. 

Child Custody in Illinois

In Illinois, child custody divides into both parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parental responsibilities refer to decision-making authority, while parenting time sets the overnight schedules your children will share with both of you. Child support also tends to factor prominently in child custody cases. 

5 Universally Beneficial Tips for Negotiating Child Custody Terms

The five universally beneficial tips that every parent facing a child custody case should carefully consider include:

  • One – Always keep the best interests of your children at the forefront. 
  • Two – Be realistic and reasonable.
  • Three – Establish your priorities.
  • Four – Develop a negotiation strategy.
  • Five – Trust your child custody attorney.

One: Keep the Best Interests of the Child at the Forefront

Illinois courts base child custody decisions on the best interests of the involved children, and – barring a significant reason for ruling otherwise – this typically means maximizing the amount of time each parent has with the children. It is easy to let emotions and personal priorities influence what you believe to be the best outcome in your case. Remember to take a step back and think critically about what is best for the minors involved. Their well-being will be the driving force behind the court’s decision, and it should be the parents’ top priority as well.

Two: Be Realistic and Reasonable

When you make it your position to fight tooth and nail for every point during your child custody case, you run the risk of turning up the heat to a point that it can’t be reduced. Further – while declaring war may feel good in the moment – it is very unlikely to serve you or your children’s best interests. In most cases, it is in the best interest of the child to have adequate time with both parents, which may mean you will have to make sacrifices. Being realistic and reasonable with your expectations will help you avoid unnecessary turmoil.

Three: Establish Your Priorities

Reaching an agreement that promotes the well-being of your child should be your top priority. When you really stop and think about what means the most to you in terms of your child custody arrangements, it can loosen your grip in other areas and may provide you with more leverage where it counts. 

Four: Develop a Negotiation Strategy

Once you’ve taken a good, hard look at your priorities, let them guide your negotiation strategy. Is your spouse really excited about having the kids for a specific holiday, but your priority is being the primary custodial parent? This may be a good time to concede the point to your ex. Your primary goals are more consequential in the long run.

Five: Trust Your Child Custody Attorney

Your dedicated child custody attorney has been doing this for a while, which makes putting your trust in them one of the most important steps you can take. Not only does your attorney have the legal insight to see the big picture, but they also have the focus to help skillfully guide your case toward an optimal outcome that supports your rights. Working closely with your child custody attorney from the outset is always in your best interest.

Speak with an Experienced Illinois Child Custody Attorney Today

The practiced Illinois child custody attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have the knowledge and compassion to help move your case forward toward a resolution that supports your priorities and works for your family. Learn more by contacting us today.

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