Hiring a Family Law Attorney When Adopting a Child

Finding Common Ground: Proactive Tips Divorcing Parents Can Use to Prevent Painful Custody Battles

by Jamie Nichols

Divorce is a painful process for both the parting spouses and their entire family. In the United States alone, approximately 1.5 million children are affected by divorce each year. But even though divorce is likely to always be painful, most children can adjust well to their new family situation over time if their parents choose to work together to arrange a workable custody arrangement that all parties can feel good about. If you and your spouse are considering divorce and want to work together to ensure that your children can enjoy a great relationship with both parents after the divorce, consider using some or all of the following tips to help you move forward more easily while avoiding painful custody disputes. 

Find common ground in custody arrangements

Keeping your children's lives on a stable footing will help avoid unnecessary stress for both spouses and kids. To do this, see if you can work with your spouse to decide upon living arrangements that will be in the best interest of the kids. Some examples of this might be to do the following.

  • Consider living separately within the children's school district so that both parents are easily accessible to the children and available to assist them with school activities and such. 
  • Consider having kids stay with each parent on alternating weekly schedules so that the custody arrangement is truly equitable. 
  • Consider foregoing child support to either spouse and instead sharing major childcare costs equally, such as with medical and dental care, clothing, and educational expenses

In addition, it is important that divorcing couples ensure that their kids' lives are not disrupted during the divorce by continuing to encourage healthy relationships between their children and both sets of grandparents and encouraging them to continue participating in their normal childhood activities. 

Know what to do when problems occur during a divorce

Divorces are filled with intense emotions that can sometimes make negotiating difficult or unsuccessful. If you are dealing with a difficult spouse and cannot find good solutions to custody disagreements, or if the spouse you are divorcing has a history of being abusive to you or the children, you will need to seek professional assistance to work out a viable child-custody arrangement that will put the needs of your children first. A child-custody lawyer will be able to advise you of your legal rights concerning custody and help you make the best choices for your children. No divorce is ever easy, but by working toward a fair and equitable custody arrangement, you can help your children through the process without causing them unnecessary pain.