Divorce is, by all accounts, emotionally taxing. If you share a child at the time of the divorce, one of the most contentious subjects you may have to deal with is custody arrangements and parenting plans.
Most often, the family court will encourage divorcing parents to come up with a parenting plan that puts the child’s best interest first. But how do you achieve this, especially if the divorce is contested?
Here are three tips that can help you avoid conflict over your child’s custody and parenting plan:
1. Give mediation a chance
The court will usually advocate for a healthy relationship between the child and parents. As such, the court will encourage joint custody. If it becomes clear that you are going to share custody with your ex, you cannot afford a bitter dispute. It is in everyone’s best interest that you mediate a parenting plan that will work for everyone.
2. Be available
You need to be actively involved in your child’s life even if you do not live with them. Be sure to attend their school functions as well as other co-curricular activities. And if there is a visitation plan in place, make every effort to honor it. Demonstrating that you are a responsible and loving parent can go a long way in avoiding a protracted custody battle.
3. Respect any court directives
If the court directs you to attend parenting or counseling classes, be sure to do so. Your commitment to follow court orders will be a clear demonstration that you take your child’s best interest seriously.
Child custody can be complicated. When divorce is inevitable, you need to do everything in your power to safeguard your child’s best interests.