Decisions & Negotiations for Parents During Divorce
Key Points
  • Negotiating will be one of the most trying challenges in divorce for parents. Negotiating the custody, activities, vacations, even which school or church the children will attend should be addressed. The more amicable you are in co-parenting the easier these decisions will be.
  • Co-parenting means a give-and-take, some things you may need to not push so hard for and other things you may want to hold fast to. Make sure you are doing what is best for the children, and not let your anger, or other emotions, get in the way of your children’s best interest.
  • Parenting styles may be different, that is acceptable, what is unacceptable is a difference in values, how your children should be raised and guided. Having this same value system allows for a better transition into the co-parenting world.
To negotiate about a project or task and to make a decision about the things families normally discuss such as vacations, money, activities, church, moving etc. are some of the same things you will be doing after divorce. You will be making some of these decisions as a single parent, some based on situations in another marriage, and some with your children’s other parent.

It is quite different when you are making decisions about children. Children are not tasks, they are people. People with feelings, perspectives, needs and wants. There are many decisions to make about their lives. In order to negotiate these issues, the first step is to identify what they are. Identifying the alternatives is the next step. The third is negotiating and putting your plan into action.

Sometimes you have to give up what you need or want in divorce. You lose some control because both parents have rights. (Except for parents who make decisions that are not safe for children. In these cases the courts need to take control.) Ideally you can learn to decide what is reasonable and fair for everyone involved. Experiencing a divorce relationship is similar to honoring an ongoing contract in which you identify the changes along the way and respond accordingly. The alternative is a bitter divorce with constant arguments.

Understanding that each of you has different parenting styles is another of the realities of divorce. Hopefully your values are similar in how you think children should be raised and guided. Similar value systems make it possible to negotiate. If you are not sure what you value in raising children, it may help you to think about what you value in the following areas: education, religion, discipline, manners, guidance, boundaries, activities, music, art, culture, sport, money, world issues, politics, and social skills. These are the areas in which you will be making decisions and giving one another input if you are in a co-parenting relationship.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.

Recent Related Blog Posts
    All Parenting Blog Posts

Related Article Archives
Custody & Visitation
Parental Alienation
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Children & Divorce
Child Relocation
Collect & Paying Child Support
    All Categories
Related Forums
Child Custody
Child Removal
Child Support
Helping Children
Stepfamily Issues
    All Forums

Resources & Tools

Bookstore Promotion Discount

Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.
SEPARATE FEELINGS FROM BEHAVIOR – Successful co-parents focus on the child -- and only the child. Any anger, resentment, or hurt takes a back seat to the child's needs. Co-parenting is not about the adults’ feelings but rather about the child’s happiness, stability, and future.
Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Children In Between - Online Parenting Class

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Online Parenting Plans

Online Parenting Plans

3StepParentingPlanTM uses cutting-edge online software to create your Parenting Plan. Using a smart question-and-answer application, 3StepParentingPlanTM gets you a fully customized Parenting Plan in a little more than half of a lawyerÕs billable hour.

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site