How to use negotiation strategy in child custody case – part two

Woods, May & Matlock,P.C.

f you read our last post, part one of this two post series, you know thinking out your negotiation game in a child custody case is essential. It helps you remove the emotional sways from interactions with your spouse and keep the big picture goals as your focus.

Woods, May & Matlock are a Texas law firm focused on family law. Each of our attorneys has over thirty years experience with the ins and outs of Texas state laws around custody and divorce. When you need a lawyer who specializes in family law in Dallas, TX, there’s no better resource. Read on to further your negotiation skills.

More methods to solid negotiation

  • Be genuine with the judge and family evaluators. You’re likely to have a court appointed visitor to your home as part of a custody case in Texas. They will interview you and your children separately. They will want to see the home and your children’s bedrooms. Part of their time will be spent monitoring playtime and a family meal. You need to be yourself, showing the evaluator it’s in your children’s best interests to spend time with you. When you interact with an evaluator or judge, it’s important to be relaxed.
  • Never badmouth your spouse in front of the kids. Telling the kids negative things about their other parent creates damaging anxiety in them and will backfire in your case. This is a negotiation strategy killer. Make sure your kids know you want the best for them, but keep them out of your strategy plan.
  • Always negotiate in writing. Avoid informal or casual negotiations with your spouse, especially about arrangements for time with the kids. Misinterpretations are too easy. Additionally, a temporary change in who the kids are living with could create problems when the judge is looking at conservatorship. If they are suddenly spending a lot of time with the other parent, the judge may factor this as a normal event and use it to decide custody.
  • Build a strategy plan with your lawyer before you meet for mediation. Usually, the court will require a mandatory period of one to two hours of mediation between you, your spouse, and a court-appointed mediator. The mediator won’t give either of you legal advice, but instead serves to facilitate your discussion. Talk to your lawyer ahead of time to go over settlement values and agreements you would accept. Know your bottom line so you don’t compromise to something you’ll regret during these times.
  • Always know you can walk away in negotiations. Knowing you can walk away also will help give you confidence in heated moments. You probably won’t need to actually leave the negotiation table, but knowing you don’t have to give in during a tense moment will help you keep calm and maintain your ground.
  • Use silence and time as a tactic. Making your ex wait can be an effective strategy when compromise is going nowhere. Wait time can also make them nervous while you gather your thoughts.

If you’re getting a divorce that involves child custody, you need a lawyer who specializes in family law in Dallas, TX on your side. Reach out to Woods, May & Matlock to schedule your first free brief phone consultation. Call us today at 972-972-8820.