You are divorcing your partner of several years and need to decide what happens to your minor children. You’ve seen friends fight tooth and nail over custody and wonder if you will need to do the same — or if you should.
It depends. Ideally, you and your spouse put your differences aside to find a solution that makes you both happy — one where you share custody and can limit the adverse effects of your divorce on your children. However, if your spouse is acting unreasonable, you may need to fight for a suitable outcome.
Consider your child’s well-being and safety when you think about custody issues
Raising children can be demanding, and everyone has their snapping point. Marriage break-ups can get heated and cause people to act out of character, so it’s often wise to take a step back and look at the situation from a distance. While you might want full custody of the kids, children are usually better off when both parents stay in their life, except where it puts them at risk of harm. Seek advice if you are unsure whether your spouse presents a risk to your child’s safety.
Aim for a well-crafted parenting plan that minimizes distress and complications
Trying to lock your spouse out of your child’s life may frustrate them and cause them to get angry. Conflict will harm your child too. Unless battling for custody is necessary for safety reasons, it is best to look for alternative ways to divide your time with your children.
In general, today’s family court judges are most inclined to support custody agreements that divide parenting time fairly between both parties. Unless you have a very good reason to push things in another direction, it’s often better to focus your energies on the parenting plan that you need to minimize conflicts in the future.