When dealing with issues surrounding the breakdown of a relationship, it’s normal for it to be a highly stressful and confusing time for everyone involved. One issue that can cause particularly high degrees of anxiety and frustration is the issue of where children are going to end up (which parent will be the primary caregiver).
Of course, securing your future access to your children is going to be of the utmost importance to you and they have a right to continue a relationship with you. Just because you and your ex can’t see eye-to-eye doesn’t mean that your kids should suffer the consequences of being caught in the crossfire.
The following will examine some tips you can use to ensure you have the best chance of getting favorable custody arrangements regarding your children.
1. Use family law mediation
The best way to ensure you get a fair and reasonable child custody arrangement with your ex is to engage a professional family law mediator such as O’Sullivan Mediation who will be able to guide negotiations. They are specially qualified to conduct processes such as ADR (alternative dispute resolution) that are designed to help ex-partners put their differences aside and come to the most equitable agreement possible.
There are many advantages to this process, the first being that it allows both you and your ex to negotiate in a professional context where your lawyers can be present to help protect your rights and ensure you get what you deserve.
This process is also beneficial because it means you are less likely to back down and accept an unfair settlement. The mediator won’t allow one party to bully the other or for questionable arrangements to be proposed – they’ll keep everything civil and fair.
2. Don’t try to turn your kids against your ex
One big mistake that some people make when doing through a child custody dispute is that they attempt to manipulate the process by trying to get the child to choose them over the other parent. This is done in many ways, from lying to the child to coaching them to fabricate stories of abuse and if you are caught doing it, it will make you look very bad to the family court system and would give your ex grounds to deny you custody.
The family law system is committed to protecting the best interests of the child at all times as they are often the worst affected victims of the end of a marriage. Children have a right to pursue a meaningful relationship with both of their parents and you need to accept this, even if you really despise your ex-partner.
3. Stay calm and listen to your lawyer
Another important piece of advice for giving you the best chance of getting child custody is to make sure you hire a good family lawyer and that you listen to their counsel. If you try to second-guess their expertise just because you don’t like the answers they’re giving, you are going to set yourself back significantly.
You lawyer will be able to help you see clearly and not get bogged down in emotional thinking that will lead you to make snap judgments that may not be in your best interests. You hired your lawyer for a reason, so make sure you get the most value out of them and let them do their job!
As you can see, there’s a lot to remember when it comes to getting child custody during your divorce proceedings. Above all, make sure that you keep a clear head and don’t give into kneejerk emotional thinking.