The lead up to Christmas is often difficult for both parents and children from separated families. At times, negotiating with your ex-partner about who will have the children over the Christmas period can seem like a minefield. When both parents are not willing to compromise in relation to these arrangements and you are at a stalemate, sometimes lawyers can be of assistance. However, just a warning, most law firms close over the Christmas and New Year break and are uncontactable during this period. If you are at an impasse with your ex-partner, the following strategies may be of assistance in arriving at a compromise that suits you, the other parent and most of all the children!
- Keep calm
Whilst at times something that the other party may say could infuriate you or appear unreasonable in your eyes, remain calm! Becoming angry or futile often leads to the end of a negotiation. So if you genuinely want to negotiate with the other parent, stay composed.
- Offer an incentive
Sometimes the key to getting the other person over the line on a deal is to offer them an incentive or sweetener to take your proposal. People are more likely to accept an outcome if there is something in it for them.
Negotiating successfully can often require you to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to resolve the dispute. Just remember that in a negotiation, the outcome might not be either parent’s ideal option. As lawyers we don’t ask our client’s to necessarily be happy with the compromised deal, we just ask you to be able to live with it if it means a resolution for you and the children.
- Let the other person speak
Negotiations often fail where one party does not feel heard or listened to. So if the other parent appears itching to say something and fully explain their reasons for their position, let them. Without feeling heard, most parents will not agree to a compromised solution.
- Know your argument
Sometimes it is useful to do a pros and cons list as to why your proposal is better for the children than the other parent’s. After you have let the other parent state their case, state yours – but do so with solid arguments underpinning your proposal. At the end of the day, you (to some degree) need to convince the other parent of the merits of your proposal.
By adopting some of the above negotiation strategies you may have some success in navigating the Christmas period on your own. If all else fails and you are an existing client of Best Wilson Buckley Family Law we do have an emergency mobile number that you are able to contact for some advice, ask your family lawyer or one of our team to find out more.