Arguing with a spouse to the point where divorce is the only option left can be a harrowing experience. Once the decision to file for divorce has been made, there are a multitude of factors that must be considered before a couple officially parts ways. When children are involved, the stakes are even higher, and such a situation requires that the entire process be handled with a certain level of civility.
Children are very impressionable and need to be reassured that although the relationship their parents shared as a couple is over, their role as parents is still as strong as ever. It is not uncommon for parents to struggle with who should receive custody of the children and how much time each parent should spend with them. And it seems that mothers may, more often than not, win custody battles; according to the United States Census, in 2010 the majority of custodial parents were mothers and only one in six custodial parents were fathers. Regardless of what the statistics indicate, however, courts actually use a strict standard of what is the best interest of the child to determine which parent should gain custody.
Commonly Made Mistakes to Avoid
To ensure that the children do not face any long lasting negative effects by the new changes brought on by the divorce, it is best to avoid the following mistakes during a child custody battle.
- Do not let animosity between you and your spouse outshine what is best for your children: During custody battles, the court does not really care about why a couple is divorcing. The court cares about what is best for the children and will notice when a parent puts too much emphasis on the actual divorce.
- Do not stir the pot too much: Custody battles can get ugly and a parent may be tempted to act rash and move the kids out of their surrounding ASAP. The problem with this approach is that it can turn the children’s worlds upside down and cause the court to view the parent as uncooperative.
- Do not badmouth the other parent in front of the children: One parent may be tempted to divulge certain atrocities committed by the other parent during the course of the custody battle or divorce to the children. However, courts do not look fondly upon parents who disparage each other in front of their children. Thus, it is best to seek out a friend or confidante who can be your sounding board when you are particularly upset.
- Do not disobey a court order: When a court makes a decision, it expects strict obedience from both of the parents. A failure to adhere to a court order can result in serious consequences.
- Do not forget to hire a child custody lawyer: Child custody battles can often get personal and it is advisable to have a lawyer whom you can trust to advocate on your behalf.
If you want to obtain custody of your children in the Wheaton area, contact one of our experienced DuPage County child custody attorneys at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today. We will carefully review the facts surrounding your case and help to ensure an accountability for your children’s best interests.