Child custody negotiations can cause a divorce to get ugly. The father wants custody of little Bobby, but the mother is best suited to raise little Bobby. The next thing you know, both parents are at each others’ throats in a fit of rage. Letting go of personal possessions is far easier than handing custody of a child over.
When in the midst of a custody battle, there are three rules that every couple must follow:
1. Don’t Try to Present Your Ex as Evil
Divorces are difficult, and trying to convince others of how evil your partner is will be time wasted. Aside from physical or sexual abuse, the courts and mediators don’t truly care how your ex treated you when discussing child custody.
Gaining collective points against your ex won’t happen by bashing your ex.
If the other party has to judge your ex through your experience, they will also judge you in the same manner. It’s best to put the spotlight on your good attributes, and not to focus on the negative aspects surrounding your ex. The only time you should focus on your ex is if he or she is:
- A substance abuser
- Physically abusive
- Sexually abusive
2. Children’s Needs Always Come First
It’s far too easy to get carried away with a divorce and want to be the “victor.” In a divorce, even the person that gets custody isn’t the victor. The needs of the child need to come into consideration.
If you have not come from a broken family, ask yourself this question: “how would you feel if you were estranged from your mother or father?”
Children excel when they have both parents in their lives. Emotional wounds are often found in children that grew up without a mother or father. The children’s needs must come first when negotiating child custody.
When possible, always fight for your child to at least have visitation rights with your ex unless they are unfit.
3. Imposing Too Many Rules
Leveraging your power as a custodial parent needs to be done with the utmost caution. You may initiate rules during a divorce that will harm your child in the future. A good example of this would be limiting communication between your ex and your child.
If you only allow your ex back into the picture when a major “problem” occurs in your child’s life, they will learn to manipulate the situation.
The non-custodial parent may be more liberal, and you may be stricter. Your child will learn how to manipulate the both of you to get what they want, causing harsh feelings between the both of you.
It is better to allow your ex to be an involved parent.
If for nothing else but the sake of your child, you need to unite with your ex for difficult child-related situations. Allowing both parents to have a say in a child’s life is in the best interest of the child.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing on family law. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.