Going through a divorce can bring out the worst in some people, but if you share children with your ex, you need to think carefully about how you handle each aspect of the split. One area that you have to handle with kid gloves is child custody.
Some parents might be tempted to bring all of their anger into the child custody negotiations, but this is a horrible idea. Instead, parents must focus solely on what the children need because the court is going to consider the best interests of the children when it's evaluating custody agreements.
When should you bring up your ex's negative behaviors?
Typically, the things that went wrong in your marriage don't need to be brought up in child custody matters. The exception is if there is abuse or an addiction that impacts the child's safety. If that's a factor in your divorce, speak to your attorney about how you should handle the situation. You shouldn't go into a negotiation session making these accusations, even if they're true. There might be other options that will end with a better result for the children. You should be prepared to go through a court battle if this is a factor and you can't come to terms with your ex that will keep the kids safe.
How can you keep the focus on the children?
Make sure that you're thinking about how each decision will benefit the children. Even though it's understandable that you want as much time with them as possible, the child deserves to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. This means that you need to have a split custody schedule that gives both parents the ability to spend quality time with the child.
What do you do when you agree to something?
Understanding the options that you have in the custody matter might help you to compromise with your ex. Sometimes, creative solutions are what's best for the child, so think carefully about what should happen. Everything that you agree upon during the custody mediation sessions must be put in writing. The wording should be as clear as possible so that you avoid having to battle through a disagreement with your ex.
Remember that the decisions you make about custody and parenting should be based on what your children need now. Trying to guess what they'll need in the future can be far too difficult. If the agreement needs to be updated, you can always go through a modification.