Going through a divorce is not an easy journey. One way it is made even more complicated is when children are involved. Most parents naturally want the best for their children but face a conflict when they must give up some of their precious time with their children due to a divorce or a custody proceeding. Consequently, this can be one of the reasons for a custody battle.
We cannot stress enough that leaning on an experienced divorce attorney when approaching a custody case is one of the most important things that a parent can do along with keeping the children’s best interests in mind. Ensuring one has the right attorney can make a world of difference in the result of their case. In addition to having the right representation, following the below tips can also help:
- Stay Off of Social Media – Parents should change their settings on their social media accounts to “private” and refrain from posting on all such channels. Furthermore, information, including photographs of the children, should not be posted by a parent online. One parent may use what they find on the other parent’s social media channels against them during a custody case. For example, one spouse may post about a new relationship or post about spending money on something they should not have. Keeping social channels quiet for a while will be beneficial.
- Start a Journal or Two – When approaching a custody case, parents should keep track of their involvement with their children in a journal. Parents should also keep track of the time spent with the children, the other parent’s time spent with the children, and any other information relating to the children that is relevant to the case. This can be helpful to reference during a custody case as one parent may try to bring up instances of what a parent did or did not do during the marriage and having a daily journal can help to dissolve these confrontations. In addition to a journal detailing the involvement with their children, it may be wise to also create a journal of interactions with the other parent. This may include saving text messages, voicemails, and emails from the other parent. It can help when a parent can show how well they communicate with the other parent.
RELATED: Read how to protect your children during a divorce.
- Watch What You Say in Front of Your Children – Regardless of the circumstances, it is important for the parent to not talk badly of the other parent in front of their children. While it may be hard to do, it can hurt the parent’s case in court, and more importantly, it can be damaging to their children. It is OK for the parent to vent to a trusted family member, friend, or therapist, but they should refrain from venting to their children. In addition, they should encourage their children to spend time with the other parent, promoting the child’s relationship with the other parent. Unless the other parent poses a danger to the children, having a healthy relationship with both parents is beneficial for the children involved and is beneficial to the custody case.
- Hold Back on New Relationships – Ensure to think through new relationships and their consequences when in this situation. For example, a parent’s custody case can be damaged if they move in with a new partner or become involved with someone that is not appropriate to be around the children. The parent should think through how their children are feeling as they are probably having a difficult time accepting the fact that their parents are splitting up. While it is important for a parent to take care of themselves and have a healthy relationship, this is not the time to make drastic changes to their relationship status.
- Consider Settling Out of Court – Having the custody case in the hands of a judge can be extremely stressful as they are the ones to decide the parents’ future and the future of their children. Litigation may be unavoidable in many situations, but there are also many situations when an amicable resolution or settlement can be accomplished which achieves a positive outcome for everyone. Furthermore, a settlement is less exhausting and less expensive.
A custody case is a difficult situation to be in for many parents going through a separation or divorce. While it is not a situation that one wants to find themselves in, a custody case can be resolved by agreement without extensive litigation, especially if an experienced divorce attorney is by their side.
Meet with our lawyers at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby to discuss your situation thoroughly and assess your options for child support and child custody that is best suited to you and your children. To learn more, contact us online or call our law firm at 412-261-4040.
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