There’s no such thing as perfect family life or relationship. Even though it’s not what you would expect, it’s the ugly truth. And you don’t have to wait for someone to take the blame before admitting that your marriage is no longer working out, which means you’ll need to file for divorce.
In most cases, it’s nobody’s fault because there are just some people who aren’t meant to be together. However, other couples try so hard to achieve that image of a perfect family that they fail to see how badly they’re hurting one another in the process.
This is even more painful when a child is caught in the middle, especially because they can be treated as collateral damage. So, to avoid making a mess of things during the child custody battle, here are three things that you can do to minimize the damages that your family will sustain:
Hire the Best Legal Representation
If you don’t know how to diagnose a certain medical condition, you seek the guidance of a physician. The same thing applies when you want to file for divorce and apply to be the sole custodian of your child because if you’re not familiar with family law, you’ll need a professional by your side who does.
But you shouldn’t hire just anybody for this role. You’ll need a reliable divorce lawyer who you can trust to put your family’s best interests at heart. This way, you can be assured that your lawyer is in this for the money and help you make the right decisions regarding your family situation.
Having an experienced attorney by your side can also help you make the right expectations about child custody battles. For instance, you might be expecting that you’ll easily be granted full custody because your ex is an absentee parent. But ultimately, it will the courts deciding who will gain the custody based on what would benefit the child more.
Establish an Amicable Relationship with Your Ex-spouse
More often than not, children are caught in the crossfire between two warring parents. It might not have been their intention to hurt their children, but they can be too blinded by their rage and pain to see clearly. And that’s what you should try to avoid making during your own divorce proceedings.
Understandably, it will be difficult not to let your emotions get the best of you during the mediation. This is especially true if you’re divorcing your ex-spouse because of a fault, such as cheating. However, despite all the hurt and anger that you’re feeling towards your ex, you should never project those feelings onto your child.
Rather than disagree with your ex at every opportunity, try to establish an amicable relationship with one another. You don’t have to be friends or forgive each other; you just have to work together and put your child’s best interests at heart. This way, you’ll overcome the custody battle much more efficiently.
Don’t Forget to Do Your Part as a Parent
In the midst of all the divorce proceedings and meetings with your mediator, you might no longer find the time to be there for your child. But this is arguably the worst thing you can do because it can cost you your parental rights. Just because you’re battling it out for custody doesn’t mean you stop being a parent.
That’s why even before the final decree of divorce has been granted. You have to make sure that you’re maintaining a strong presence in your child’s life, even more so if you’ve been granted visitation rights. After all, you’re fighting to become the sole custodian of your child, which means you should act like it.
Being a parent doesn’t end with just doing the fun things with your child, such as going to parks and watching the movies. You also have to help them through the divorce. Make sure that you’re completely exercising your rights as a parent because that will not only help you win custody but also show your child that you’re determined to always be there by their side.
At the end of the day, there’s no real “winner” or “loser” when it comes to a child custody battle, especially because the court’s decision should be based on facts. What matters most is that your child will end up in the hands of someone who can raise them to become kind and intelligent adults.
So, if you think that someone is you, then you need to do your best to show the court that you’re willing to become your child’s custodian. Prove that you’ll do everything to keep your ex-spouse in the picture—but only if the court allows it—to ensure that your child gets enough time with both parents.