Without a doubt, the issue of child custody often brings high drama and conflict in contentious divorce situations. Sometimes, the parting spouses use their children as pawns, harming the youngsters emotionally as they grapple with confusion due to their love for both parents.
A contentious battle over child custody often leaves permanent scars, especially to the children. Seeing the venom spewed out by sparring parents is not a good thing for a kid. A moment like this calls for disagreeing parents to focus on common ground. In this case, it is the children. Well, at least one of the parents needs to take the high road to make it work.
Protect your children and yourself
In a high-conflict situation related to child custody, parents should try to be on their best behavior. But this promises to be a challenge as this toxic behavior usually spills into nearly every aspect of a divorce.
However, here are some crucial tips and strategies to subscribe to when in the middle of contentious child custody negotiations and high conflict divorce:
- Always think of the children: By protecting them, you continue to make the youngsters your priority. Do your best to avoid pettiness and arguments with the other parent. You can control your behavior, but not your estranged spouse’s. Try to understand what your children are experiencing and avoid saying harmful things about the other parent.
- Do not forget to protect yourself: You will have to shield yourself and dodge every symbolic stone thrown in your direction. Do not take the bait if your estranged spouse attacks you with words, lies and accusations. Take great care in setting boundaries and avoid one-on-one meetings. Always have another person present in those meetings.
- Do your best to create a satisfactory parenting plan: Despite the toxicity present, there is a chance that this can happen if you keep your children the priority. Without the cooperation of the other parent, though, you will have to rely on a mediator or your attorney to create a workable child custody and visitation agreement.
- Work with a dependable and experienced family law attorney: You need a legal advocate at every turn in high-conflict situations related to child custody. If you need a restraining order filed against the other parent, an attorney can help. But the main thing is to come up with a parenting plan to which each parent can agree. An attorney can help you achieve this goal.
With tensions at their peak, expect a challenge when negotiating and settling on an agreeable child custody arrangement. In contentious situations, you mostly hope for a détente. And always remember that your children take center stage.