One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce is settling matters related to child custody. Personal disputes between spouses can often cloud the judgment of both parents, even though they have the best interests of the child at heart.
Difficult as it can be, it is important for both spouses to try and put their personal grievances to one side during custody negotiations. Staying on point during custody proceedings can be trying, but the following tips could help.
Organization is key
It is very easy to become consumed by the emotional turmoil of a legal separation and custody case. Nonetheless, it is important to try and put this to one side and focus on what you can control. One of the most productive things you can do is keep an organized account of what is going on. You may wish to log interactions with your spouse, both in terms of the more productive and contested conversations. You could jeopardize your case by flying off the handle, whereas remaining composed and carefully planning your next steps will show the court that you are a conscientious parent.
If possible, build bridges
Divorce and child custody cases are often viewed as adversarial proceedings, where one winner takes everything and the loser gets left behind. This is far from the truth. Little tends to be achieved from a high-conflict scenario, other than additional stress being added to everyone involved. You and your spouse may not be compatible in terms of a relationship anymore, but this does not mean that you are bad parents. Once the best interests of the child are placed at the center of proceedings, parents are often pleasantly surprised by how they are able to communicate effectively and compromise in key areas.
Settling child custody matters is not easy but it is feasible for both parents to reach a favorable solution. As you navigate the process, be sure to remember your legal rights as a parent in Virginia.