Going through a divorce creates stress in different areas of your life. But perhaps one of the most difficult aspect of a divorce is child custody. If you want to win custody, you can’t just cross your fingers and hope it happens. You will need to have a plan. Mediation is a good approach to resolving custody issues.
To help guide you through the process, we offer seven child custody mediation tips
- 1) Understand what your kids want: You will need to focus on your child’s best interests. Talk about the divorce and explain to your child he or she will have to live with one parent. That could have an impact on where they go to school. It could mean they live farther or closer to friends. Ask how your child will feel about the changes he or she will experience by living with one parent.
- Consider what being a single parent entails: Raising a child on your own is never easy. Are you prepared to take on the responsibility of being a single parent? You may want to consider shared custody. Your child also may ask if he or she can live with both you and their other parent. You may feel strongly about having sole custody, but it’s important to consider your child’s perspective.
- Set aside personal conflicts with the other parent: You may have negative feelings about your ex-spouse, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad parent. You may need to compromise on a custody arrangement. If your ex-spouse is a good parent, you should consider a custody arrangement that is best for the child.
- Spend more time with your child: Children love attention, care and affection from a parent. A mediator may ask if your child wants to live with you or your ex-spouse. Children often choose the parent who has spent quality time with them.
- Keep communicating with the other parent: You might have ended your marriage, but you and your ex-spouse will always be connected through your children. Try to keep a relationship with your ex-spouse that focuses on your child. You may need to talk to your ex about any number of issues related to your child – education, health, their friends, their hobbies and interests, and more. This can help your child open up to you and not feel isolated.
- Avoid letting emotions take over: It’s not unusual to get angry or feel other strong emotions when considering custody of a child. You may need to take a deep breath. Remember to focus on the facts of the living arrangement and how you can be the best caregiver. Always try to focus on what’s best for your child.
- Bring documentation: Keep a record of your custody plan. Bring your work schedule and your child’s school schedule. Bring notes about your communication regarding your child with your ex-spouse.
How an attorney can help
You may feel strongly about winning custody of your child, but keep in mind that the ultimate decision will be made based on the best interests of your child.
As child custody attorneys in Illinois, we hope the seven tips can help you. If you have questions and need an attorney to help with the child custody process, contact our law firm. An experienced lawyer can represent you during the mediation process.