Avoiding Conflict in Child Custody Matters

Happy dad embracing daughter with mother smiling in background - child custody conflict concept
Child custody can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Parents might face disputes regarding parenting styles, living arrangements, parenting time, and many other issues. While these situations can be emotionally difficult for both parents and children, there are a few things you can do to avoid conflict in custody matters. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help ensure an amicable co-parenting relationship:

Put the Best Interests of Your Children First

It’s important to always put the best interests of your children first in divorce, no matter how much anger you feel toward your ex-spouse. By doing so, you may be able to reach a compromise and start working out a custody arrangement. Putting your children first also means respecting their relationship with their other parent and not speaking badly about them — your children love both of you and should never feel like they must take sides. By not making disparaging remarks about your ex to your children, you can also avoid conflict in custody matters and any potential claims of parental alienation. One way you can ensure your children are put first in custody matters is to use a parenting coordinator. Not only can they assist you with resolving any disputes, but they can also assist you with avoiding child custody conflicts in the first place.

Consider Mediation to Settle Custody Disputes

Mediation can play a crucial role in helping you to avoid conflict in custody matters. It is a non-adversarial, out-of-court, and confidential process that can assist both parents with facilitating healthy communication and expressing their concerns. During mediation sessions, you and your ex would work with a neutral third party called a mediator to help you determine a custody arrangement that is in your child’s best interests. Once an agreement has been reached, the settlement will be drafted and submitted to the court for approval. Mediation can help parents resolve all matters pertaining to custody and parenting time, including but not limited to the following:
  • Parenting time schedules
  • Holiday and school break schedules
  • Decision-making responsibilities
  • Information about transportation
  • How disputes will be resolved
  • A method for making changes to the agreement
  • Information about finances
  • Making schedule changes
By using mediation to settle your custody disputes, you can develop tools for communication that will benefit your ongoing co-parenting relationship. You can also remain amicable with your ex-spouse, which can be vital to maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship.

Use a Co-Parenting App

If you and your ex can’t seem to discuss custody matters without getting into an argument, you might want to try using a co-parenting app. They can help you communicate successfully, keep track of scheduling, and allow both parents to stay involved in their children’s lives. A co-parenting app can also store the information parents need to share with each other, including medical records, insurance information, permission slips, expense records, and clothing sizes. In cases where the parents are contentious, a co-parenting app can flag potentially offensive phrases, names, and words to prevent a conversation from escalating. Many co-parenting apps also have features that prevent you from deleting, tampering with, or editing messages once they have been sent. Knowing that these conversations are documented makes most people carefully consider what they write. However, if the tone or content of the messages does become inappropriate, there will be documented proof.

Implement a Parenting Plan That Allows for Flexibility and Stability

It’s important to have the right mix of flexibility and stability in your parenting plan to avoid conflict in child custody matters. When parents build flexible parenting time into their custody agreements, it avoids having to go back to court when their scheduling needs change. Being flexible in your custody arrangement can also allow parents to reach a compromise on solutions much more efficiently. In addition, flexibility can make holiday and vacation planning easier — and help to create a schedule that meets the whole family’s needs. At the same time, it’s key to ensure your parenting plan offers the stability your child needs to thrive. The parenting plan doesn’t need to be rigid, but it must prioritize your child and provide for a stable environment. Be sure that the custody schedule is clear and detailed enough to avoid any confusion while still allowing for accommodations for the situations that can arise in day-to-day life. It’s best to have a provision in place that parents agree to attempt to mediate any custody disputes before resorting to litigation.

Contact an Experienced Oregon Family Law Attorney

If you are trying to avoid conflict in your child custody matters, a skillful family law attorney can offer you the counsel you need. Based in Salem, Litowich Law provides reliable representation and adept advocacy for a wide variety of family law matters, including those involving custody issues, throughout Oregon. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation.
Categories: Child Custody