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Negotiate outside court for control over custody arrangements

Child custody is one thing that isn't usually easy during divorce. Trying to decide how to spend time away from a child you normally see each and every day can be devastating to you.

One thing that may help you cope with this situation is knowing that you can have some control. You have a right to ask for the custody arrangements that you want. You have a right to time with your child.

Typically, custody decisions are made in one of two ways, either through a trial or through negotiations that result in an informal settlement. If you are worried about not having enough time with your child or about what kind of arrangements a judge would make, it would probably be better if you and your spouse could come up with an agreement on your own.

To come up with a custody agreement, you should sit down together and try to talk through your schedules. Starting with your schedules, you'll see who is or is not available on each day. Then, you can begin filling in the blanks, deciding who has to make time for custody on certain workdays or deciding if you need a third party, like a day care, to play a role in the custody plan.

Both of you can come out of this situation satisfied if you are willing to be respectful and to negotiate for fair time with your child. Keep in mind the arrangements that are going to be best for your child may not be exactly what you wanted, but if you put them first, you'll see positive results.

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