Custody Disputes Made Easy: What Separating Parents Need to Know
For most separating couples, divorce is a tricky experience. Emotions are running high and you may or may not feel in agreement over the decision to separate. During this time, couples may struggle to avoid placing blame on each other for the decision to divorce. Because stress and anxiety tend to be hefty problems during a period of divorce, parents may find that they are fighting over many issues they never considered to be problems before. One of the biggest things parents fight over is custody. If you and your partner are separating and you have children together, its important to make sure you treat custody as a serious issue. While it’s common to fight over who your child or children will live with, understand there are several things you can do to minimize custody disputes.
Focus on your children
What do your children want? Do they want to stay in the same home? Do they want to move to a new place? Do they want to share time with each parent? Talk openly with your children about what to expect during the divorce. Listen to their opinions. While joint custody isn’t always an option for each family, talk with your kids about their preferences and what they would prefer.
Divorce isn’t simple. There are going to be days when the decision to separate seems unbearable. Understand that both you and your children will have many different emotions and feelings that surface during these times. Don’t expect that you will each be feeling your best. Instead, try to treat your kids and your former partner with as much patience as possible as you decide where your children will live.
Attend family counseling
For some families, counseling can be a wonderful way to deal with the stress and anxiety surrounding divorce. Whether you and your ex-spouse want to split custody or one person wants sole custody, understand that talking together in family counseling can be an incredibly beneficial way to begin to understand one another. It’s also a good way to show your children that you still love them and that you want them to have the smoothest transition possible.
If you’ve been struggling with who will receive custody of your children, talk with your attorney. Your lawyer may be able to offer some information and guidance that can help you move forward during this time. Divorce isn’t something you need to face on your own, so make sure you talk openly and honestly with your attorney. Remember that there are different types of custody, such as physical and legal custody. Your attorney can offer you valuable insight as to how each type of custody will affect your relationship with your child and what your goals for custody should be.