Putting Your Best Self Forward In Child Custody Disputes
April 15, 2015
Child custody disputes are often inevitable at the end of a relationship. The heart-wrenching process causes stress for all involved, especially your children.
You can get through this difficult time without causing extensive emotional damage to yourself or your children. These four tips can help during the child custody battle and may even assist in preserving your sanity.
1. Be Honest About Your Shortcomings
If there is something less than admirable in your life, like a drug addiction or criminal conviction, it is best to have it out in the open in the beginning. You do not want your former partner to bring this up as it will likely be presented in the worst light possible. Be proactive and prepared to describe how you overcame the shortcomings. It shows you taking responsibility, which helps your case.
2. Stay Single
Even if you accepted your marriage or relationship was over long ago, this is not a good time to start dating. Maintaining a relationship this early in the dispute process not only adds a complicating factor (your new partner will also be evaluated for fitness around your children) but the court or custody evaluator may question your judgment.
3. Find Witnesses
Teachers, daycare providers, or others who have seen you with your child can help you with testimony regarding your parenting abilities. In cases of mistreatment of the children or other criminal behavior, even a partner's own family may be willing testify in your favor. It never hurts to ask around, especially if you maintain good relationships with your partner's relatives.
4. Take the High Road
Even if your former partner does it to you, do not manufacture negative evidence about him or her. Answer the accusations and have trust that it will all be revealed as a lie as custody evaluators often see through imaginary claims. However, if there are issues with your former partner abusing the children or maintaining a dangerous or unhealthy lifestyle, those need to be brought to the forefront. As long as the claims are true, they should not affect you negatively.
Nothing about a child custody dispute is easy but it does not have to make you sacrifice your morals or ethics. Consider hiring a family law attorney to represent your interests, and while seeking counseling for your children, also consider a therapist yourself. You will learn better ways to manage your stress and sadness and be better able to implement these tips.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominic from FreeDigitalPhotos.net