If you have children younger than 18 and you’regoing through a divorce, child custody may be one of the most contentious issues you’ll face.
Today, millions of American children live in a single-parent household. Studies show that in many cases the situation isbetter for the children than if the parents stayed together in a toxic household.
With this in mind, experts who study the effects that divorce has on children unanimously conclude that when divorcing or separating parents cooperate with each other, co-parent, and keep adult issues far away from their children, that the divorce process has less of a negative impact on the children and the children bounce back just fine. This is something we should all pay attention to.
Child custody proceedings can be complex, and there are no one size fits all situation. That is why each custody matter is determined on a case by case basis applying the standard of what is in the best interests of the children.
Toward this end, there are several important things you can do in order to try to reach a mutual agreement regarding your children:
- COMMUNICATION – Try to find ways to communicate with your spouse so as to find common ground and mutual understanding. You and your spouse need to focus on what arrangements work best for your children and for the two of you, not rehash hurt feelings or old injuries.
- COMPROMISE – Work with your spouse in such a way that you both understand and discuss the importance of compromise.Start with the idea that neither of you is going to get everything you want, and that you’re both going to have to give a little.
- RESPECTEACH OTHER– Try to be respectful to each other in general and don’t say negative things about your spouse to your children.Moreover, don’t involve your children in disputes, and don’t ever ask them to choose sides or make them feel enmity toward your spouse.
- GOOD ROLE MODEL – Don’t argue in front of your children, and if you occasionally do try to be mindful to keep the discourse civil and solution oriented.Your children are sponges, you are teaching them how to behave during stressful situations and in life in general, so try to be a good role model.
If you and your spouse find that you can’t come to a mutual agreement, then you may want to consider family mediation.This is when a neutral expert will sit with both you and your spouse—and your lawyer if you choose to have one—in order to facilitate a conversation focused on creating a child custody arrangement that works best for your children, and for both of you.
Mediation is almost universally recognized as a better option than litigation (ie. battling it out in court) for resolving custody and visitation disputes. Mediated agreements are reached faster than litigated orders, usually just a few months to resolution. Mediation is also more cost effective as opposed to litigating custody disputes which can cost tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
No matter who is initiating the divorce, at Hirsch Legal, LLC, we are here to guide you through this process. Located in Shelton, CT, our firm is ready to discuss any family law issues you may be facing, including divorce, custody, and support matters.