Divorce: Custody of Your Children
Of course, Custody of your children is the highest priority in your divorce. Sadly, Many parents fail to see the bigger picture amid divorce, and oftentimes it’s the children that get hurt. Below is some valuable information that may help you and your former spouse get along for the sake of your children.
Playing the Victim does not get you Custody of your Children
Oftentimes, Divorcers tend to play the victim instead of attempting to move on. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake made by women. This can be detrimental to the mindset of both parties, but it can be even more dangerous when children are involved. Pitting your children against their father during a divorce can cause long lasting trauma and will affect your family in many unforeseen ways. However, keeping a stiff upper lip about this will avoid poisoning the children against their father.
Getting Along… For your Children
When you have kids, it is important to get along with your ex, both mid divorce and post divorce. It’s understandable to want to try and get back at former spouses, but hostility usually hurts your children the most. Long, nasty custody battles often hurt kids and accomplish nothing. Judges have begun to rule drastically in favor of 50/50 custody. This is because courts have found that when children grow up without one parent, it often has a drastic negative impact on their development.
Although most custody battles end in joint custody situations, the children still have to live primarily with one parent after the divorce. At this point, custody battles can become very nasty. Different factors will be considered when deciding primary custody. Ultimately the parent who the children relied on most in every facet of their lives will be the parent who continues to live with the kids. Courts understand that both parents in a divorce will most likely try and attack the character of the other parent. Attacking each other will rarely get either parent very far and will most likely drag out the legal battle, making the process more painful for everyone, especially the children.
By far the easiest way to split up parenting time is for both parents to cooperate with each other and establish reasonable and flexible times where each parent will be able to see the kids. After divorce, it may be difficult to remain civil enough with your ex in order to split up parenting time, but being hostile towards the other parent will lead to far more problems. If parents can not agree on parenting time, more rigid schedules are to be expected, with as little contact between parents as possible. Parenting time is also not a weapon to be used against your former spouse. If the child’s father is not paying child support, that is not a good reason to not allow him to see his children. In addition, children are entitled to see stepparents and relatives from both sides of the family. It is not in the child’s best interests to take them away from relationships that will help to stabilize them and help them grow.
The Best Interests of the Child
The most important thing to remember when disputing over custody is how a change will impact your child. Courts will always rule in favor of the best interests of the child even if it means lowering parenting time for one parent or any other ruling. As a parent, you must have your children’s best interests at heart, and if you do, the courts will likely support you. The divorce process will not be easy on your children, and it is up to you to make the process as seamless as possible, even if that means compromising with your ex.
Thanks to Horn Law Group, LLC intern Liam Meakem.