When going through a divorce, it is easy to see things as a competition between you and your spouse: the more they get, the less you get.
Thinking like this will make the divorce process more problematic than it needs to be. If you think about child custody with this mindset, it could do severe damage to your children.
Questions parents need to ask
Judges consider the child’s best interests when deciding on custody matters. Yet, as parents, it can be easy for your wishes or feelings to get in the way.
Acting in the child’s best interests does not mean asking them what they want. It means stepping out of your current situation and trying to think with a clear head about what benefits your child in the long term. Here are a few things to consider:
- How can both parents continue in your child’s life? A substantial cut in the time you or the other parent spend with your child will be a significant loss for your child. A fair time-sharing arrangement helps your child benefit from both parents.
- How can you limit the disruption to your child’s life? Can you ensure your child stays in the same school, attends the same clubs and plays with the same friends? Consider ways for them to keep in contact with the wider family, too.
- How can you communicate with the other parent? The more hurt you do to each other during your divorce, the harder it will be to communicate after. As parents, you need to discuss things and will do for years to come.
Consider using an alternative method to resolve your divorce and custody issues. They help reduce conflict and keep your child’s best interests front and center.