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How to Negotiate Your Long Island Child Custody and Visitation Schedule

by | Jul 23, 2019 | child custody and support, divorce, News and Events

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.

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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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At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

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Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.
Steven Frierman
Steven Frierman
02:25 07 Mar 20
After meeting with 3 different lawyers, we felt Robert understood us best and he genuinely had our best interests at heart. This helped us resolve a few minor issues in a timely fashion and make a potentially stressful situation go more smoothly.Thank you
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



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