Negotiating a divorce settlement usually involves dealing with delicate issues such as property division and spousal support, but even spouses in Ohio and around the country who become heated during these discussions are often able to look beyond their differences when the issues of child custody and visitation arrangements come up. Parents generally want their children to be happy and thrive, and this outcome becomes more likely when divorcing parents are able to tolerate minor failings and frustrations and accept that their former spouses are acting with the best of intentions.

A great deal of research has been conducted into the traumatic impact that a divorce can have on children, and most experts now agree that co-parenting child custody solutions should be pursued whenever possible. When both parents lay down similar rules and expectations are consistent, children know where they stand and are less likely to be manipulative or take sides.

Seeing their divorced parents cooperating can set a good example for children, but all of this hard work can be undone if the kids are dragged into domestic disputes and arguments. When emotions are running high, parents should avoid using their children as sounding boards or asking them to relay messages. Putting a detailed parenting plan into place is a proactive way to avoid these pitfalls, but parents may seek to exploit loopholes when the terms of these agreements are too restrictive.

Traditional divorce negotiations are often all that is required to reach an an amicable settlement in a divorce case, but a different approach may be called for when spouses are unable to agree on child custody and visitation arrangements. Civil litigation offers no guarantee of a positive outcome and is expensive, public and adversarial, and experienced family law attorneys may recommend divorce mediation as an alternative approach for couples who would rather not leave these decisions up to a judge.