Tips for Surviving a Custody Negotiation …
Child custody disputes aren’t a walk in the park for most coParents.
Drama will often find its way into the dispute, causing it to turn into more of a custody battle than a simple dispute. The constant fighting without resolution leaves you feeling emotionally paralyzed and sometimes downright exhausted. This could go on for days, weeks, months, and even YEARS!
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made during my custody battle, so I’ve included a list of common mistakes that parents make as well as a list of things to be prepared for.
Try to never…
- Refuse to cooperate or compromise with the other parent.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is holding resentment towards your ex, especially during a custody battle. You should always have your child’s best interests in mind and put your own feelings about your ex to the side.
- Withhold your child from their other parent.
This could be detrimental to your case as you want to show that you are cooperating with your coParent and putting your child’s needs first. Never forbid your ex from taking the kids or even talking with the kids.
- Vent on social media.
Social media is the first place people go to in order to vent or ask other people for advice. You must remember that whatever you post is public, even if you mark it as private… it can be found. If you post something bad about your ex, photos that shouldn’t be shared, or showcase any irresponsible behavior, it can and most times will be brought up in your custody battle. Especially if it pertains to your kids.
- Talk badly about your coParent in front of your child.
Your children will repeat anything and everything you say, they are kids. If you say something negative about your ex, they will find out and it will most likely be brought up in your custody battle.
- Put your needs over your kids’ needs.
The law requires courts to make custody decisions in the best interest of the kids so if you aren’t putting your kids needs first, the court will see that and it can, and probably will hurt your case. Always make decisions with your kids best interest in mind, even if that means you have to put your own feelings aside.
Try to always…
- Document conversations.
You should document every conversation you have with your ex as you might need it at some point during your custody battle. Save all text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. Make a log of all communication and keep it in a safe place. Your best options would be a google file so you can access it anywhere or a coParenting app with a built-in communication feature.
- Have proof of on-time child exchanges.
Always make child exchanges at a public place where you can prove you were on time and at the correct location. Starbucks is a great place as you can order a coffee as you wait on your child. Save that receipt in a safe location so you have proof of your on-time child exchange. There are also apps out there to help document on-time child exchanges without having to buy coffee or save receipts.
- Know your states custody laws.
Study the laws in your state and ensure you are following them to the best of your ability. If you are unsure about how to meet certain standards, reach out for help.
- Spend as much time with your children as possible.
The court will see that you are putting your child first and willing to do anything to spend time with your kids.
- Do everything you can to settle out of court.
Try your best to solve your disputes amicably between one another and document them or hire a mediator to assist in the process. Going all the way to trial can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours away from your children.