Child custody disputes where neither side is willing to give an inch, and the child is caught in the middle are almost always counter-productive and the child ends up losing the most. When a contentious divorce includes a custody battle, it can have far-reaching, negative implications for all concerned. If you think that you would like to get through working out a custody arrangement that is best for the child, then there are a few thoughts to keep in mind before you begin. Here are seven tips to help you get through, or even better, avoid a child custody dispute altogether:
- Trying to go it alone
Get yourself a good Franklin family law attorney when you are facing a potentially contentious custody fight. Chances are, your spouse has legal representation, so you want to make sure to have an advocate on your side who knows the law and who will protect your interests.
- Shading the truth
Always tell the truth. Be honest and forthcoming with the judge and your attorney because when you do not do so, the truth almost always comes out and embarrasses you in the end. Your attorney has years of experience guiding other families through custody decisions. Trust their ability to present your case and get the results you are looking for.
- Coaching your child on what to say to the judge
The judge, and the child psychologist that might interview your child can tell when a child has been coached as soon as they open their mouths to speak.
- Violating the custody order
Even if things are not going the way you would like them to, never violate a custody order because they have the force of law. You could end up in contempt of court and that will not endear you in the judge’s eyes.
- Trying to “win”
It is far more productive to look at the custody negotiation as an opportunity to create a win-win, rather than a win-lose proposition. Both of you want the child to be happy, safe and cared for. When each party is willing to give a little towards ensuring the best outcome for the child, then everyone wins.
- Giving in to every demand the other side makes
Conversely, you absolutely do not have to cave and give in to every demand. Stand up for what you know is right for your child and for your family. It is possible to be flexible and work with your co-parent without allowing yourself to be railroaded by the opposing side.
- Speak disparagingly about your child’s other parent
Do not fill your child’s head with nonsense about their other parent because this will only confuse them and tarnish their relationship with the other parent. Do not trash your co-parent in public or on social media. This will only reflect poorly on you.
If you believe that the way in which you resolve your marriage will have an influence on what kind of relationship you will have with your co-parent going forward, you will agree that it is vital that you find a way to work together towards the common goal of making sure that your child’s needs are being met and that the divorce does not scar them emotionally for the rest of their childhood. Negotiating an amicable if not civil custody arrangement is the first step towards that goal.
Agreeing upon child custody arrangements during divorce can be a source of incredible conflict if families do not know how to avoid many common mistakes. If you are anticipating a dispute over parenting time you may want to schedule a consultation with a Franklin family law attorney from the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates who has had years of experience dealing with these kinds of cases. We always keep the best interest of the child in mind as we work towards the most favorable custody arrangement for all concerned. You may contact us at 615-977-9370 to schedule a consultation at our Franklin, Columbia or Brentwood office.