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How to Negotiate Your Long Island Child Custody and Visitation Schedule

by | Jul 23, 2019 | Child Custody and Support NY

If you are divorcing or ending a relationship and you have a child or children on Long Island, you’ll need to come to a consensus about how you and your ex can co-parent your child/ren together in a healthy, effective way that ultimately benefits the health, happiness, and overall wellbeing of your child. This isn’t often easy, since each parent can have radically different ideas of what is truly in the child’s best interests. Here’s how to negotiate your child custody and visitation schedule on Long Island and how to get legal help to ensure that your rights are protected and exercised as needed.

Show Up Prepared for Child Custody Negotiations

Custody negotiations are challenging enough without being frazzled and unprepared. Gather important documents ahead of time and put them somewhere safe that will be remembered or easily seen before you leave for legal meetings. List your ideal custody scenario and what issues you might be willing to compromise on if necessary. Get any important notes together and organize them in a briefcase or pocket folder with pens and pencils, blank paper, and a calculator. These things will come in handy during the negotiations, and ruffling through your bag or interrupting to ask for a pen can put you on edge.

Remain Calm and Rational During Child Custody & Visitation Negotiations

Child custody matters are wrought with emotion, which can make it extraordinarily difficult to keep a level head when negotiating custody and visitation arrangements. This can be especially true for ex-spouses who find it challenging to speak with each other or even be in the same room as each other. However, it’s important to stay rational and avoid outwardly expressing frustration or anger. It’s okay to take a break if you start to get upset or reschedule the rest of the meeting for another day.

Be Open to Compromise

One key to successful child custody negotiation is the management of your expectations. It’s unlikely that you’ll get everything you want in the negotiation, so be prepared to make some compromises. Know ahead of time which issues are most important to you and which you can afford to give a little on. Try to make compromises on issues that are less critical and avoid putting your deal breakers on the table if at all possible.

Listen as Much as You Speak

Negotiation is about healthy back and forth. If you’re dominating the conversation or interrupting your ex-spouse often, you run the risk of making them feel like they aren’t being heard or their needs aren’t being considered. This doesn’t work in your favor; if your ex feels slighted, they’re less likely to be as willing to make their own compromises for you. Instead, listen with an open-mind. Don’t listen to respond, listen to hear. Repeat your ex’s words back to them to make sure you’re understanding them correctly.

Discover Tools to Help You Co-Parent

There are a wide variety of tools available to help you co-parent effectively with your ex-spouse. Most commonly, these are co-parenting apps that have trackable messaging capabilities and the ability to store pictures and documents. Courts can pull records directly from the app, so neither parent can attempt to skew facts. While these apps were initially designed to help ex-spouses who had a lot of difficulties co-parenting together, they can be quite useful for anyone co-parenting a child together.

Get Help Negotiating Your Long Island Child Custody Agreement Today

Negotiating a child custody agreement on Long Island isn’t for the faint of heart, especially if you and your ex aren’t on good terms. When things get sticky, you need someone in your corner who can guide you through the legal challenges associated with child custody and visitation and champion for your rights. Call our experienced Long Island family law firm today to book a complimentary consultation at 631-923-1910.


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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
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Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
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