It might seem impossible for some Louisiana residents to believe that they could ever get along after a divorce. At the same time, they want to come to a joint custody agreement in order to allow the children to have as much access to each parent as possible. The best way to begin is to agree not to give in to the negativity that can lead to a contentious divorce.
Undoubtedly, there will be moments when it would be easier just to strike back when the other party is being uncooperative. However, that would more than likely derail any headway that was already made. Everyone has bad days, and getting back on track when one occurs is essential.
For many Louisiana residents, remembering that the children need them to find a way to work together is enough to sit down at the negotiating table. Others might need more structure and a third-party such as a mediator to work with them and their attorneys to keep meetings on track. Even though it might seem counter-intuitive, it might be better for the parties to begin by setting boundaries that can be immortalized in their agreement, along with some "house rules" that will apply to the children regardless of which parent they are with at any given time.
Having these rules in place before discussing overnights, holidays and other visitation could help lay a foundation upon which the parents can build a new relationship apart from the marital one that is no longer working. A couple's joint custody agreement can include as many details as needed in order to facilitate some sort of amicable post-divorce relationship. This could be one reason why courts often encourage couples to create their own agreement aside from the fact that it can be tailored to the needs of the family in a way not always possible in court.
Source: npr.org, "Finding A New Kind Of Partnership Through Divorce", Nov. 10, 2016