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Much like any legal process, custody cases have a number of factors that need to be considered, the most important of which is how it’ll affect the children. This is the process that’ll shape the future of your family, and the relationship you have with your children, so it’s imperative every avenue is considered. Luckily, with a number of sites available to give you valuable information, and experienced family law firms like manassalaw.com to connect you with expert attorneys, custody doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark.
You want to ensure you’re making the best decisions, so naturally there are many things to be considered when working on a custody case. Here are five of the most important.
- Work With Your Ex
This might not seem appealing, but a willingness to work with your ex will show the courts you’re putting the care of the children first, and will be better for you in the long run. Many parents have lost custody over their children because they weren’t willing to cooperate with the other parent, so it’s a good idea to bite the bullet and do what you need to for the sake of your kids.
This doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend, but, rather, don’t go out of your way to make things difficult, as this won’t just affect your life, but the children’s as well. Make sure you communicate affectively, and remain open minded to changes that may arise. If something isn’t sitting right with you, make sure your ex knows about it so they have the opportunity to fix it.
- Spend As Much Time With Your Kids As Possible
Spending time with your children could be going to a movie together, enjoying a ball game or staying in and playing together. It doesn’t have to be anything super complicated; simply having that time together will mean more to them than anything else. In time, they won’t remember the activities you did or where you were, or perhaps what was even said, but they’ll remember they spent that time with you, which is something they’ll hold onto for years to come. Not only will this quality time benefit your children, but showing you care will help you in the custody process.
Divorce affects kids as much as it does you and your partner, so it’s important to make sure their needs are addressed and that they know you’re there for them. This could be as simple as asking them if they have any questions or if they’re okay with everything that’s going on. Then, if they don’t give a positive answer, you have the opportunity to help them through it.
- Keep The Kids Away From The Drama
Regardless of how you feel about your ex, there’s no need to talk ill of them or discuss the intricacies of the case with the kids. This will likely cause an unnecessary amount of stress for them and may be more damaging to your relationship than you think. When working with your ex, make sure your children are kept out of the situation, and that key considerations have been made regarding their wellbeing. Regardless of how old your kids are, whether they’re six or 16, a divorce isn’t something they need to know the details of.
- Keep Your Schedule With The Kids
It might seem difficult to keep up visitation with your kids when your schedule is running tight between work and the custody case, but do whatever you can to ensure you prioritize time with them. In the long run, if you repeatedly reschedule spending time with them, this can reflect badly on you with the courts, and may be a factor your ex uses against you when battling for custody.
While you’re going through the custody process, you need to give your ex and the courts as few negative examples to use against you as possible. Even something as minute as re-scheduling visitation can make all the difference.
- Read Up On The Law
To ensure you’re aware of everything that could happen in a custody case, it’s important to research family law in your state, and what it means for you in your current situation. This way, you’re less likely to be blindsided by any acts or rules that you hadn’t previously considered. It’s also a good way to protect yourself during the proceedings, so you’re able to act appropriately and bring about the best possible result.
When Is It Time For A Lawyer?
Before all else, it’s important to consider whether it’s the right time to look for a divorce lawyer, or if there are other routes to consider first like counseling or mediation. If a divorce lawyer is the best route, and both parties are in agreement, then the earlier you find the right lawyer, the better. This is because they’ll no doubt help you with the documentation and guide your approach to the case, therefore ensuring both the kids and your needs are met.
Regardless of what happens in a custody case, your ex will remain a part of your life because of the kids. So, it’s best to remain civil with them, and make sure the welfare of your children is the top priority while they adjust to their new life changes.