The process of divorce or ending a long-term relationship is messy and emotionally taxing. When there are children involved the emotions can run even higher, and the entire process can get even messier. Every day there are hundreds of stories about messy and long-winded custody battles, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Here are some pointers on how to avoid messy custody battles:
- Come to an Agreement
Not all custody/parenting plan agreements need to get messy and complicated. Many parents can work out an agreement without a court actually being involved. Simply come up with a plan and submit it to the court. Most courts will accept agreements that have been reached by parents.
- Keep it Civil
It is important for you and your former partner to remain civil when it comes to custody and the children. Fighting and arguing rarely brings about useful resolutions to problems. If you are feeling stressed by the breakdown of the relationship, remember to keep that issue separate from issues pertaining to the children. Seeking out the help a professional therapist to work through the pain and hurt may be a wise decision.
- Come to an Agreement and Compromise
When trying to figure out how to win a custody battle you might think going in "guns blazing" is the best way to get your preferred agreement in place. This simply is not the case. When you and your former partner sit down to come up with an agreement, be willing to compromise. The process doesn't have to be long and lengthy, in fact, if you can both compromise, you can quickly hash out the agreement and put it into action. The quicker you can sort out the issue, the quicker everyone can settle into a new normal, including your children, your former partner, and yourself.
- Stick to the Schedule
When you first decide on a custody agreement and a parenting plan, it is important to stick to the routine. Not only is this best for the child, but it establishes a routine for both you and your former partner. Stability is important during this time, so trying to change the schedule or denying access to the child can create a lot of animosity which can lead to a messy custody battle.
- Be Flexible
Being flexible is important in parenting, even if you and your former partner are no longer together. As children grow up, their needs and activities will change. Remaining flexible with the parenting plan agreement is important for everyone's well-being, especially the child's.
- Open the Lines of Communication
To ensure everything stays civil, and your children don't become the messengers in your relationship with their other parent, keep the lines of communication open. Some co-parents find it is easiest to talk over text or even e-mail, others seem to handle phone conversations well. This will be up to you and your co-parent. Be flexible in your choice, and do avoid talking about issues pertaining to the failed relationship. It isn't about your relationship, and it isn't even about figuring out how to win a custody battle, it's about making the transition between homes easy for your child.
While these steps may help you on your journey to figure out how to manage a custody battle, remember, speaking to a legal expert who has experience in custody agreements is always a safe bet.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a Free one hour no obligation consultation to ensure you get the parenting plan arrangement that best fits your life and your child's needs.