When you are going through a divorce, emotions are already high. While some divorces are more contentious than others, none are ever easy. If children are involved, it’s even more complicated. Not only are you dealing with your own myriad of feelings, you have your children’s emotional well-being to consider as well.
Your kids have always been, and will continue to be, your top priority. So when it comes to custody, it seems impossible to remove emotion from the equation. Any lingering anger, animosity or resentment you feel for your ex comes bubbling back to the surface when you think about losing time with your kids.
So how can you be expected to think rationally during one of the most trying times of your life? Here are four reasons why working together to determine custody and parenting time plans may be the best choice for all of you.
By eliminating a lengthy, bitter court battle, you reduce the anxiety and worry for your children. As much as you try to keep them away from the drama, it’s impossible to shield them entirely. Watching their parents work together will help them to see that while their family is different than it used to be, it’s still a family who cares about making the best choices for each other.
By working together, you and your ex remain in control of the outcome. You make the decisions; you agree to the terms. If you can’t, a judge will evaluate the situation and come to his or her own conclusions. And those conclusions might be ones that you don’t like very much. The decision that is made by a judge is final and binding, which means you will be dealing with the aftermath for a very long time.
If you work together and find an agreement that works for everyone, you can present it to the court and they can sign off on it. If you are contesting any of it, there will be evaluations and hearings. It will likely be much more time consuming and stressful for everyone. By finding terms that are mutually agreeable on your own, you all can move on with your new lives sooner.
As you know, you may be divorcing your spouse, but since there are kids – you’ll never be entirely separate entities. By working together now, you are both demonstrating that you can be civil and thoughtful, even in the most difficult times.
The compromises you make now will reflect the effort you are willing to put into creating a positive, healthy environment for future co-parenting.