One of the most difficult parts of family law is watching a custody battle play out.
Too many times we, as lawyers, watch parents go to utter and complete war with one another over who gets to be more of a parent. Often we hear parents say they want to “win” their battle, and become focused on getting their way while simultaneously preventing the other parent from getting anything close to their way. It becomes important to them to come out the victor.
The uncomfortable truth is that nobody wins a custody battle.
Not only does nobody win the battle, but in the end the kids lose no matter what. Winning a classic, knock-down, drag-out, all-in custody battle is the epitome of a Pyrrhic Victory. Sure, you got your way, but look at what the kids went through. Not only did they have to see their parents engage in mortal combat, but now they might be denied a relationship with one of their parents.
In all honesty, a divorce is a time when emotions run hot. We can understand getting caught up in the moment and going a little bit over the line. During a time like that, it’s difficult to stop, breathe, take a look around, and remember to keep your eye on the ball. For the sake of your children, you need to — because they’re what’s important.
With few exceptions, most custody battles are based on two things. Principles and ego. Neither parent wants to back down and seem like the weaker party. All this does is create a deadlock that drags on for more time than it’s even worth. When arranging your custody agreement, try to remember a few key points:
- These are as much their kids as they are yours. Your ex deserves to be as much of a parent as you.
- Reverse the roles. Would you only want to see your children sporadically?
- Why do you object to their requests? Is there something substantial or do you just not want to lose?
- Is this worth the time and money you’re spending to fight?
- You may not be married anymore, but you’re still co-parents.
- Is this the example you want to set for your children?
When it’s all said and done, odds are your fight for custody will do more damage than good. Even if you win the battle, your kids are losing — and they should be your focus.
Divorce is a difficult time for everyone, and you deserve an attorney who can handle your case with care and compassion. Use our Contact Us form to speak with one of our attorneys who can advise you on the best path for your situation.