When you get married, one of the greatest joys of life is having children.
After you have children, you then find out that your spouse is cheating on you with your best friend from college. You then file for a divorce and now, your spouse wants to have full custody of your children.
This seems unfair, right?
Well – it’s more common than you may think, but it’s important to be aware of practical methods to solve issues of child custody. So what exactly are these practical methods? Let’s find out.
Know The Different Types of Custody Arrangements
In each state, there are a number of different custody arrangements that could potentially work for you and your significant other. Having a specific arrangement depends on your specific needs, but these are the most common.
- Primary Custody: A parent sees their kid most of the time, and the other parent only sees their child at certain times of the day.
- Joint Custody: Both parents have 50/50 custody of their children. A schedule can be worked on depending on their needs, but an example would be one parent having custody from Sunday to Wednesday, and the other parent seeing their kids from Wednesday to Saturday.
- Legal Custody: This custody allows a parent to make long-term decisions regarding their child’s upbringing and responsibilities.
Each custody arrangement is determined based upon both of the parent’s needs and by the courts as well. In addition, it’s important to think about the long-term implications of each custody type on the kids as well as the parents.
Seek Professional and Legal Guidance
When figuring out arrangements that can work best for your kids, there could be times when your ex-spouse may not want to cooperate. If so, hiring an Orange County family lawyer from Boyd Law might be your best option.
These attorneys know the best strategies to resolve disputes that seem unsolvable and they can fight for you even during the most difficult times.
It also might be worth investing in the cost of professional counseling if necessary. Having a counselor experienced in handling complex emotional issues such as divorce could be the best step in moving forward from a divorce.
Have Effective Communication Strategies
Another simple, yet crucial step in resolving child custody disputes is having effective communication.
As stated by management consultant expert Peter Drucker, “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”And that couldn’t be more true, especially when resolving child custody disputes.
Even if your relationship with your ex-spouse is on rocky ground, you need to keep an open door of communication if something unexpected were to happen. Or in other words, be flexible.
For instance, if your ex-spouse is going on vacation for a week, you need to plan out child custody arrangements that work best for these circumstances.
It’s also important to keep your discussions specifically child focused. Don’t bring up all of the past trauma of your former relationship to the table.
Put the Child’s Best Interests First
In child custody and divorce cases, there’s no winner. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Families are being torn apart. Kids won’t be able to see their parents together anymore in a stable household. With that being said, it is important to put your kids best interest at the forefront of child custody disputes.
Do your kids want to live in separate households every week?
Do your kids want to see their parents together?
Do your kids want mom or their dad?
Think about that.
Have Relevant Documents To Strengthen Your Case
If you are in the situation where your ex-spouse wants full custody of your children and you don’t believe he is fit to raise your kids, you need to have evidence to support that he is not a fit.
For instance, if your ex-spouse drinks exorbitant amounts of alcohol around the kids and may have violent outbursts at times, get evidence of that. This can be evidence in the form of video or audio, as long as it is viable.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolutions
If you are looking at considering other options to resolve your child custody disputes, it might be worth it to pursue mediation or arbitration.
According to Cornell Law, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution that helps both parties find a solution to their dispute. Mediation requires the assistance of a third-party mediator, and it is a structured session that helps both parents come to a resolution that is best for both of them.
On the other hand, arbitration is a private dispute resolution process that can take place outside of a courtroom. In this process, a private judge, called an arbitrator, makes a decision about the divorce and it is final.
Be Resilient When It Comes To Child Custody Disputes
Going through child custody disputes is hard, but when you choose to seek professional guidance, have effective communication, and potentially consider alternative dispute resolutions, that can be your best option.
At the end of the day, there is never a winner when it comes to child custody disputes. But you should be resilient and remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.