You may already be feeling the pain of separation from your child, whether you are divorcing the child's other parent or have never been married. You may have some visitation rights, or perhaps you have full custody and the other parent is challenging that custody in court.
Choosing whether to negotiate a divorce settlement or go through the process of litigation may not be an easy decision, especially if you are still nursing feelings of resentment and anger toward your spouse. However, understanding the long-term ramifications of drawn-out litigation may allow you to consider the benefits of coming to a settlement agreement without the help of the court.
When you separate from a partner, making an agreement for child custody and visitation can be full of tense negotiations and emotional challenges. One parent may end up with limited amounts of time to bond with the children, or a parent may have a reason to have sole custody for the children. During the divorce, you likely negotiated with your partner to find an arrangement that worked.
When you decided to end your relationship, you may have made an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse that you would put aside your differences in order to co-parent. You and the other parent may be working toward developing a custody agreement and parenting plan that will work best for your children and for the two of you as well.