Child custody is, perhaps, the most complicated aspect of any divorce. While other aspects of divorce have to do with what's good for either or both of the individuals that are getting divorced, custody is all about what's good for a separate individual.
There are many reasons why custody is a challenging aspect of divorce. What works for either party may conflict with the interest of the child. The divorce can often be finalized long before the custody issue so how should you approach the divorce when custody is still uncertain?
The Children Come First
This is how the courts see it and it will be easier for you if you get on board as quickly as possible. Children don't ask to be caught up in the divorce but they inevitably do. Therefore, it's only fair that their needs should be the overwhelming factor.
With everything else that's happening with the divorce, you should ask yourself how your actions or demands will affect the kids. A selfish decision could backfire or cause irreparable damage.
Try Mediation Before Court
Mediation is most people's best bet for an amicable separation. When things end up in court, there's always an increased chance that things will get out of hand. Try and handle as much of the divorce as possible through mediation. This gives you and your spouse a chance to discuss and agree on how to proceed rather than being unwilling participants in a matter decided by a judge.
Don't Use the Children as Pawns
Many children have become unwitting pawns in their parents' divorce. Putting your child in such a position can cause lasting psychological damage. In the short-term, such manipulative attempts can backfire and count against you when custody is decided. Don't use the kids as go-betweens or spies.
Hire the Right Representation
Winning in court isn't the same as winning in life. You could hire a divorce attorney that'll get you a favorable decision but this could be costly. An attorney that's out to win at all costs could turn the proceedings into a fiasco and you children could start blaming you, the other spouse or themselves for the outcome of the case. Hire a lawyer who knows how to handle such sensitive cases.
Things can get very hostile during a divorce. However, the last thing you want in a custody hearing is a child that's openly scared of you. Avoid any kind of fighting in the presence of the children.
For more information, reach out law firms like the Law Offices of Athina K. Powers.