Negotiating Custody Yourself

This sounds like a good idea, right? You are smart, you know your spouse or significant other. You don’t want to spend any money or don’t have money to spend on an attorney.  So why wouldn’t you just go to a mediator or decide to start negotiating custody yourself?

Well, here are some reasons to ponder regarding your ability to successfully negotiate.

  1. Do you realize that when you settle certain matters, once it is in a court order, you cannot just go back and change something that no longer works or that you no longer want or because you didn’t understand something or did not get legal counsel. So many think I can “fix it” later. Well you cannot without meeting certain legal standards which are difficult.

  1. Are you aware that the order will not change just because your child gets older and does not want to do it anymore. In NYS there is no age where a child decides–just the opposite.  I have actually had a hearing where the child was 17 years old, because one side would not agree.

  1. Do you understand each and every possibility that exists today regarding your parenting situation. There are some very creative ways to address issues.

  1. Have you planned for what it looks like in 5 years, the issues and lifestyle.

  1. Do you have the knowledge and ability to put things in an order that would allow for modifications later, and no— you cannot just put in that you will modify it. That does not always work with the overtaxed courts.

I have been a practicing Family Law Attorney for over 30 years. I have successfully represented fathers, mothers, and children.  I offer a free initial consultation so give me a call or email before you decide to negotiate the most important thing in your life alone.