Divorce is difficult. It will test you emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. One of the hardest parts of separating from your spouse is the implications it will have for your children. Determining who gets custody of your kids is unspeakably challenging. Tension will be high, and for good reason. The decisions made will permanently impact the health, happiness, and well-being of your kids. Read on for tips to succeed in a custody battle.
Keep the Interests of Your Child Top of Mind
Divorce is emotional. Whether your marriage ended in an explosion, or simply seemed to fade, there are bound to be many intense emotions for you to process. You poured years of your life into your partner, and now everything is changing. You might have to find a new home, a new job, a new routine, new friends, and on top of that, you fear losing custody of your kids.
What’s important to bear in mind is that, when it comes to custody in the courtroom, it’s not about your anger and frustration toward your spouse, it’s about ensuring your kids are cared for. Give them extra love and support during this time, and make sure the decisions you make are motivated by them, not by ‘defeating’ your spouse.
Unless your children will be in danger due to spending time with your spouse, it’s helpful to remember that kids benefit from having both parents in their lives. Try to work with your spouse as much as possible while making custody decisions.
Hire an Attorney Experienced in Family Law
One of the most valuable steps you can take when entering into a custody battle is to hire an attorney experienced in family law. An attorney will let you know what to expect in the upcoming custody hearings and help develop a custody plan that works for you, your spouse, and your child. An attorney will prevent you from making mistakes in your custody hearing that could cost you priceless time with your child.
Stay Positively Engaged in Your Child’s Life
With your life being turned upside down, it might be hard not to compartmentalize or ‘shut off’ parts of your day-to-day. From the moment you announce your divorce to your kids, try as hard as you can to remain a positive presence. Give them your time, reassurance, and love as they will be afraid for the future. Not only is it simply the right thing to do, it will benefit your case in the initial custody battle. Furthermore, continuing to prioritize the well-being of your kids will ensure you maintain or increase the amount of time you are awarded with your kids in future custody decisions.
Be Mindful of Your Social Media Presence
In child custody battles, everything matters. The judge and lawyers will be scrutinizing every minute aspect of your home, your life, your friends, your communication, AND your social media. If you have a habit of ranting against your spouse even without using his or her name on social media, now is the time to cut it out. If you feel the need to rant, consider taking a social media hiatus and calling a friend. Remind yourself that the goal is to have as much time with your kids as possible, and that time is worth refraining from hopping on Facebook or Instagram to ‘let it all out.’
Address What Could Work Against You
Live with a single friend? Send nasty messages to your former spouse when you’re frustrated? We’re all human, and it’s impossible to be a perfect parent. However, when you’re staring down a custody battle, it’s time to get your life in shape. Make sure your living arrangements are appropriate for your children: clean, safe, and within a reasonable distance of their school, doctors, and activities. Communicate clearly and calmly with your spouse in all ways: via text, call, voicemail, social media, and in-person. Make sure the focus is on the children: their needs, well-being, and happiness. That is what matters within and without the courtroom.
Call Us Today
If you are going through a separation from your spouse, call the experienced Cedar Rapids family law attorneys of Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 today. We are here to help you navigate the complex waters of divorce, and what that will mean for your kids. Our team knows that what you need right now is patience, compassion, and technical expertise. With our help, you can be confident you are getting the most time with your children possible. Don’t risk making costly mistakes and missing out on time with your kids. Call us today.