When getting divorced involves children, it becomes a lot more complicated. Assuming there are no issues of abuse or neglect, children should get to enjoy time with both of their parents. However, working out how to divide custody and parental time isn’t always easy. The parents might disagree about what is best for their child. Some couples can work out arrangements on their own but others need to turn it into a legal process. Divorce can be upsetting for any child, but a custody battle can make things more difficult. If you’re struggling to come to an agreement over custody, you need to do your best to look after your child’s happiness.
Avoid Using Your Child as a Pawn
Using your child as leverage during your divorce or custody case is one of the worst things you can do. It’s always essential to keep the best interests of your child in mind at all times. Even if you have a lot of negative feelings towards your spouse or ex-spouse, you can’t let them reflect on how you treat your child. You need to remember that they are a person and not a trump card you can use to get one over on someone else. Your child isn’t a toy that you are fighting over. You’re trying to decide what is best for their growth and happiness.
Working Out the Best Deal for Your Child
Your child should be your main priority when you’re making custody arrangements, not your own wants and needs. With this in mind, it might be easier for you and your ex to work out arrangements on your own. You need to figure out how you can avoid disrupting their life too much while allowing them time with each of their parents. If you can’t come to an agreement on your own, a family law practice can offer advice and legal support. They can help you to work out what is in the best interests of your child.
Being Open and Honest
Your divorce can be a confusing and frightening time for your child. Keeping them in the dark about what’s happening isn’t the best approach to take during this period. You should try to be honest with them about the divorce and the process required to work out when they will be with each parent. However, it’s important not to go too far in the other direction and be too honest. They don’t need to know the intimate details of your relationship problems or your feelings for your ex. In fact, avoid bad-mouthing their other parent completely.
Listening to Your Child’s Opinions and Feelings
The courts may not take your child’s feelings into account until they are a teenager. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to them. They may not be sure of what they want in regards to their living arrangements and custody. However, they are sure to have thoughts and feelings on what is happening. Make sure you are there to listen to them with a non-judgemental ear.
Divorce is tough for you, but remember that it’s hard for your kids too. It’s something they have no control over, so be sensitive during this transitional period in their lives.