I recently spoke to a client who said, “My ex is gonna freak when I tell her I want custody of our child.” This client was focused on the idea that the word “custody” implies – ownership of the child. Many people falsely believe that they’re fighting over possession of their children and the “custody” word tends to increase tensions. This client simply wanted a parenting plan that accurately represents the current situation.
In Colorado law, the language around custody agreements has shifted to better reflect the realities of the conversation. We now refer mostly to parenting plans and parenting time. While you are still negotiating who has the children the majority of the time, as well as decision making responsibilities, the conversation doesn’t have to be as tense as people often assume it will be.
If your ex is going to freak out because you want custody, the first step is to shift your language to say you want to modify parenting time.
If you need help talking to your ex about any of these issues, a mediator can help keep the conversation focused and productive.