A child custody case can be an especially stressful time for you, the opposing party, and your child(ren). Everyone’s future can appear uncertain and you may be tempted to act out or even shut down. To give yourself the best possible chance at resolving your case favorably, we suggest giving these five things a try.
1. Text/email the opposing party like you would a co-worker.
Always type in a professional and respectful tone with comments that are focused only on the best interest of your child(ren). Remember, you always want to wear the white hat here. When the other party goes low, you go high, no matter how frustrating it is and how much you want to sink to their level, remain calm and respectful. These texts and emails are frequently presented in court and can shape how the court perceives you as a person and a parent.
2. Document, document, document.
Keep a calendar or notebook of dates and times of incidents and/or where you asked for more custody time and were denied and/or where the other party skipped their scheduled custody time or were late for custody exchange. Where relevant and appropriate, take photos.
3. Maintain active involvement in your child’s life.
You must be actively involved in your child’s school, medical appointments, dental appointments, activities etc. You may have divided and conquered as a couple, but now that you are apart you will be judged if you are not actively involved in all aspects of your child’s life.
4. Make all decisions in your custody case based on your child’s best interest.
Be honest with yourself and don’t make decisions based on retaliation or vengefulness against the other party. If at all possible, follow the golden rule and treat the opposing party the way that you would want them to treat you. Practice self-care, get therapy, whatever you need to do to keep your emotions in check.
5. Make every effort to co-parent with the opposing party.
It’s hard, very hard, but crucial to your child that you make it through this process as positively as possible. Kids need to see a united front whether you are together under the same roof or in separate households. If you are struggling with your opposing party in this area, talk to your attorney about trying co-parent counseling.
At Potts, Shoemaker, and Grossman, LLC, our experienced attorneys are prepared to assist you in finding the best solutions for your individual situation. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us at (610) 840-2626.