More and more, divorcing parents are working out unique custody arrangements for their changing families. Whether it be unconventional living options or creative joint custody schedules, it’s clear that when parents compromise, things are better for all parties involved.
Although these unique options sound ideal, the path toward a custody arrangement isn’t always easy. To that end—to save you stress, time and money—here are ways to avoid common custody speed bumps.
Be Realistic About Your Time
Often out of fear, a parent will request a custody arrangement to maximize her time with her children, without regard to actual commitments or work schedules. Although it is essential to see your children, consistency is necessary. Instead of trying to get more time, create an arrangement that truly works for your schedule.
Refrain From Venting on Social Media
Going through a divorce and custody fight can be incredibly frustrating, and you may be tempted to turn to Facebook or Twitter to vent. However, you must resist that urge. Social media is not “private” media, and almost anyone can gain access to your posts. Avoid posting anything you wouldn’t want a judge to see during a court hearing, from bashing your ex in a post to having pictures of your excessive drinking or other risky behaviors.
Follow a Temporary Custody Order
During pendency of a divorce, courts often issue an interim custody order. This temporary order governs everything from a child’s physical care to parents’ decision making. One of the worst mistakes a parent can make is to disregard this Court’s order.
Even if you feel it is unfair, any attempt to disregard an interim custody order will weaken your case, should you need an actual custody hearing. You can even end up in contempt of court. If you need to request a modification to the order, do so formally. Going against it without court approval is a huge no-no.
Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, sometimes a parent may refuse to communicate with his ex-spouse in any way—including matters related to the children. While this approach might feel good in the moment, it is not an effective way to co-parent. Courts don’t look too kindly on this practice, either. If you have a legal concern, then discuss it with your lawyer, but after that—even if you feel justified in your behavior—remove your emotion and communicate with your ex-partner in matters related to your children.
If you need help creating a custody plan that works, let us help. Send us a message or call at (314) 454-9100 today.