No matter the reason behind it, or who is to blame, divorce is difficult for everyone involved. When you get married, the last thing you think about is everything ending in divorce.
However, unfortunately, some things are completely out of your control, which may result in the dissolution of your marriage. If you have children together and you’ve found yourself in this situation, how you handle proceedings is key for keeping everything running to plan.
There are lots of things that will need to be discussed in your divorce settlement, including custody, child support, and visitation. To avoid an ugly custody support battle, here are some tips that can help.
Negotiate and Communicate
When going through a divorce, you may have difficulty separating the spouse from the parent. While you may not love the person you’re about the divorce, they’re still the parent to your child. No matter how much you try and ignore this, you’re better off viewing them as a parent when it comes to conversing and settling child custody problems. Any anger must be put aside. Instead, try and remain calm when communicating with your spouse. Although it can be hard to have honest conversations, you’ll both want what’s best for your kids in the long run.
Hire a Specialist Lawyer
If you’re unable to negotiate with your partner, it’s time to hire a specialist lawyer. You need to have a professional by your side who understands your situation and knows the legal process inside out. A family Law Firm Houston like Fullenweider Wilhite provides services including child custody and support. If you have tried to negotiate with your partner to no avail, Fullenweider Wilhite can assertively advocate for your position should proceedings go to trial. This family law firm will guide you through the process and be there for you every step of the way. When it comes to these situations, you may be worried about the finances involved when you work with an attorney. Lots of people like to view this spousal support calculator before deciding on the services so they can plan out their legal fees and adjust their budget accordingly. By calculating your potential spousal support, you’ll know how much you need to have saved for the process.
Be Present in Your Children’s Lives
Your child’s health, wellbeing, and happiness should always come first. Just because you’re going through a tough divorce doesn’t mean your child has to suffer in the process. Therefore, being present in their lives and providing plenty of love, support and reassurance are key. If your child senses something is up, it’s your duty to shield them from what is going on. They don’t need to know the ins and outs of the divorce, so keeping them happy should be your main priority. If you don’t live in the family home anymore, be there for your child’s school events and activities. Should you go to court, this will prove to the jury that you’re a responsible and loving parent.
Don’t Use Custody as Punishment
Whatever has led to the divorce, you should never use your kids as a way to get back at your ex. Unfortunately, too many people have done this in the past, which can lead to serious consequences. Even if your spouse is doing things on purpose to spite you, never use the kids as a revenge tactic.
If your spouse has always been there for the kids, you shouldn’t ever deny them access. You shouldn’t try to sue for sole custody either. The only way this will go in your favor is if the court believes your kids’ lives will be in danger around your spouse. If you cannot provide sufficient evidence to support this, the court will grant you both shared custody. Should you try and weaponize your children, not only will the court not look favorably on this, but it could also damage your relationship with your children.
Avoid Third-Party Involvement
During divorce proceedings, you need to think positively about the future. You may end up meeting someone new during this time. If it’s serious and you plan on living with them long-term, they’ll naturally need to play a role in your children’s lives. However, you must minimize the part they play in child custody negotiations.
If you do include them in the situation, this will only make things more volatile, especially between your new partner and your ex. Also, avoid speaking negatively about your spouse to family and friends. This includes posting anything about them on social media. While you may want to go on a rant on Facebook, once your thoughts are published online, you can never be too certain about who can access them. They can also serve as evidence in court, which could hinder the outcome.
Adhere to Court Instructions
Make sure that you respect the courts’ instructions and follow them from start to finish. If you need clarification, a family lawyer can assist you with this. This will ensure you understand everything that’s going on, and that there won’t be any nasty surprises along the way.
Whether you and your ex get along or not, you need to remain calm and in control when it comes to the custody of your children. To avoid proceedings spiraling out of control, the guide above will ensure your kid’s health and happiness are put first.
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