The matter of child custody should always be about your children’s needs, so as a parent your actions and behavior during the custody process should also be all about the children and making sure that they are the top priority. Below are some tips for things to do or not do if you are fighting for custody of your child or children.
The Ex-Spouse’s Family Still Matters
You should always avoid separating your child from your soon to be ex-spouse’s family members (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). It is good to keep in mind that just because your relationship is coming to an end, does not mean your child should have to forfeit his/her relationships with extended family members. Also remember that your child is still related to them even though you are not, so avoid the urge to say negative things about them in front of your child.
Privacy Is Important
Privacy is critical to the smooth running of any co-parenting situation. So long as your child is not in danger, avoid trying to control every move of what your child does while in the custody of the other co-parent. If you do your best to respect the rights of the co-parent when your child is in their care, then it is more likely you will receive respect in return. There are local organizations that offer co-parenting classes to help with often difficult transition.
Consider Shared Custody
You should always be open to the possibility that a shared custody arrangement may not be in the best interest of your child. Keep your child’s unique needs in mind; this is especially true if you have a special needs child who may not react well to change and different environments.
Foster a Relationship with Both Parents
Despite the anger and resentment you may have towards your soon to be ex-spouse, always do your best to encourage your child to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your soon to be ex-spouse. It’s important for a child to have both a mother and father role model in his/her life.
Keep Up with Child Support
If you have been ordered to pay child support payments, do not withhold that support just to punish the other parent. By doing so, you will ultimately be punishing and depriving your child, as child support is meant to help out with expenses related to the child.
Avoid Talking About the Divorce in Front of the Child
Do not discuss legal matters around your child. No matter how angry or upset you are with your spouse, your child is not the person you should be venting to about the divorce. Consider meeting with a therapist or at least save the divorce discussions for your adult friends.
Contact a South Carolina Divorce Attorney
If either you or someone you know is dealing with a custody dispute, you should contact the legal team at McGrath Law Firm, P.A. at 843-606-2755 or online if you need more information about the home study process. We are experienced, passionate, and knowledgeable, and we are ready to help guide you through the intricacies of the South Carolina custody process.