When you got married and began a life with your new spouse in California, you likely could never envision that you’d one day be involved in a contentious child custody battle with that same person. The reality that not all marriages last a lifetime may have come as a shock to you when it was your own marriage headed for divorce. Whether you have one, three or more children, you are no doubt like most parents who only want what’s best for them.
The problem is that your interpretation of that compared to your former spouse’s might be quite different. Before facing a lingering, embittered courtroom saga, you might be able to prevent such stress by arming yourself with information regarding common child custody myths.
Have you heard?
When it comes to your children, you know what’s best. So, what do you do when someone else no longer sees eye-to-eye with your views and, worse, refuses to cooperate or compromise? Separating fact from fiction might be a good place to start. By keeping the following in mind, you can be better prepared to make informed decisions and ward off attempts to undermine your parental rights:
- While some people may be telling you it’s better to fight as hard as you can so your kids can see how much they mean to you, studies show children whose parents are able to work together to forge new parenting plans and agreeable solutions fare far better than those who live with memories of watching their parents fight over them.
- In decades past, the court typically awarded physical custody to mothers. This is certainly no longer true, and in most situations, the court believes children should be provided ample time with both parents after divorce, unless some extenuating circumstance deems it a potential detriment.
- If you wind up receiving child support from your former spouse and payments are delinquent, it does not give you the right to keep your children from seeing their other parent. (Some have tried to use this as a ploy to encourage payment only to find the court does not condone this behavior.)
Your children’s emotional and physical well-beings are obviously of utmost importance. Just because you have ended your marriage does not mean you have forfeited your desire to be a good parent. With careful planning and a willingness to negotiate, you may be able to reach swift and amicable solutions to even the most challenging problems.
But, what if you can’t?
What if there is a severe breakdown in communication between yourself and your former spouse? You wouldn’t be the first to say it’s impossible to be in the same room without getting into an argument. Although a parent’s intentions might be good and his or her heart is in the right place, studies show it is not healthy for children to be stuck in the middle of parental disagreements. To prevent such problems, others have taken one or more of the following steps:
- Reaching out to a trusted family member or friend often helps provide a shoulder to lean on and a means for venting in order to keep emotions in check and prevent feelings of isolation and stress.
- Many people experience depression when going through divorce, in which case seeking help from a spiritual and/or licensed counselor may be of great benefit.
- To protect parental rights and ensure that your children’s best interests are a main focus, experienced assistance from a California family law attorney can be enlisted to expedite the process and increase the chances of obtaining a swift and satisfactory outcome.
You and your children have the right to pursue your dreams and create a successful and happy future together. Adapting a new parenting plan may be part of that process. By taking advantage of the resources a skilled family law advocate can provide, you can seek agreeable solutions to any custody problems that arise.