If you are divorcing your child’s other parent, you should first consider the value of mediating your custody case. This approach also works well with unmarried parents who are ending their relationship with one another but want to stay firmly involved in their child’s life.
The path to a clear resolution of your custody issues may not initially look very clear. That is what typically causes a rush to litigate the matters in court. But after slinging barbs between one another privately and maintaining icy demeanors in court, it can be quite challenging to transition into a functional co-parenting relationship later.
You may counter that with the logic that if the two of you could get along together well enough to reach accord for the custody, you might not be splitting up at all. However, the fact that the two of you simply aren’t built to go the distance as a couple has no bearing on the type of parents you are to your child.
Many divorced and never-married parents who are no longer together with their child’s other parent still manage to be exemplary parents to their children. Indeed, quite a number are even capable of being civil, even thoughtful, with their ex-spouses and partners. Of course, these post-relationship parenting roles must evolve and grow to accommodate the changed circumstances. They typically will not change overnight into serene co-parenting relationships.
But time and healthy distance can allow you to re-frame your co-parenting relationship into a functional partnership where the children’s best interests remain foremost in the parents’ minds. After all, that is the focus of the court, so why should the parents stop short of that goal?
We can help you and your ex get to that point. Before filing for custody or divorce, call us to review all of your options — including mediation.