Child Custody Does Not Have to Be a Battle

Once either you or the other parent declares a custody war, your divorce or parentage case becomes unbearable. But it does not have to get to that point. Unless there are issues of abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, or other type of dysfunction, you and the other parent should focus on the children and their perspective. Adults can find ways to cope with an unbearable situation. Children, on the other hand, may find ways that are destructive to themselves either now or in the future. It is imperative that whatever you do in your custody matter is first seen through the eyes of your child. Is it really that important to bicker back and forth about someone being 10 minutes late to a visit? Sure, in some cases, if the tardiness is aimed to hurt or degrade the other parent, it is an issue to seriously consider. However, most parents are late because of habitual lack of planning or discipline not because they want to purposefully inflict emotional harm. So, if you know than custody and visitation will become a big part of your divorce or parentage cases (and no issues of abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse and others exist), there are certain steps you may want to take: 1) Focus on your children's needs NOT yours; 2) Remember that both parents are important to a child; 3) Do not talk about your case in front of them. PERIOD. Ever; 4) Each chance you get, talk positively about the other parent and encourage a relationship between him/her and the child; 5) See the big picture and do not get stuck on small details-in other words, do not sweat the small stuff; 6) Heal yourself. After a split, either of marriage or a non-marital relationship, you need time and effort to heal the wounds and grieve the loss. Unless you take care of your emotional needs, your pain, anger, frustration will taint your custody matter and you will declare war on the other parent.