Divorce is often emotional and it can be difficult to be amicable. Divorce is always more complicated when there is a child involved. One of the important issues that you and your ex-spouse must decide together is how to share child custody.
Child custody can bring with it a separate set of emotions and what you decide with your ex-spouse and how you behave toward your ex will often profoundly affect your child and their relationships with each parent.
How important is my relationship with my ex in relation to my child?
The answer to that is that it is critical that you and your ex try to get along, if not for your own sake, at least for the sake of your child. You and your child’s other parent must try your best to get along in front of your child, even if what you both feel deep down inside is very different than the feelings and behavior that you show in front of your child.
If you are at a loss with how to speak to each other because your emotions get in the way, here are some tips that might help.
- Behave politely to one another: Treat each other politely, as professionals. You and your child will benefit. Never call each other names or use bad language toward each other.
- Stay focused: It is very easy to lose focus when all sorts of negative feelings are bubbling to the surface but try your best not to do that. Stick to the reason that you are meeting.
- Keep your child’s best interest at the top of your priority list: The most important thing is that you are meeting to discuss and agree upon what is best for your child.
- Don’t be ambiguous when meeting with your child’s other parent: When you meet with your ex, be clear. Avoid going off topic. You both need to accomplish things for the sake of your child. Put everything in writing. If you both agree to a specific schedule, don’t change plans without discussing it.
- Write minutes of each meeting afterward: It is important that you and your ex-spouse both understand what occurred in each meeting in exactly the same way. If you write minutes, you will both have the same documentation and there will be no possible way that anyone can misinterpret anything that was said or done.
- Keep your word: If you make a promise, keep it. This will build trust among you, your ex-spouse and your child. You are forging a different sort of relationship with your child (and with your child’s other parent) so that relationship must be built on trust and reliability.
- Don’t speak about custody issues around your child: There are some things that are private between the two of you and should not be shared with your child. Otherwise, your child may misinterpret or misunderstand what you are discussing, which may turn out badly.
- Don’t use your child: Children are to be revered, loved, nurtured and treasured. They are never to be used as pawns. If you have something to communicate to the other parent, you should always speak directly with the parent. Your child is not the appropriate person to relay the message.
Solid advice from a California family law attorney
Working out child custody issues is often an insurmountable task but the advice of an experienced family law attorney can really turn your case around and help you to come up with a result that is acceptable to everyone concerned while protecting your rights at the same time. Nobody in a divorce escapes unscathed but with the help of a knowledgeable attorney, the result may be better than you had hoped for so everyone can move on and enjoy a friendly relationship.