What to Avoid in a Child Custody Battle | Tammy Karas Griggs

Child custody battles are hard on everyone. They take an emotional toll on you, your former partner and the children involved as well. If you are going through a custody battle, keep in mind these simple, yet important guidelines for the smoothest, most civil process and outcome.
  1. Don’t discuss the divorce with your children or use the children as a messenger in your divorce.
    • Divorce and custody battles are not pretty, or easy. Even as adults, we struggle to maintain ourselves during a dispute over something so important. Children do not understand the concept on a level that adults can, and should be left out of the situation as much as possible. Do not use your children as the middle man between you and your partner. Doing this can make your children feel the need to take sides, which will have unhealthy outcomes for not only them, but also you.
  2. Don’t talk negatively about the other parent or his or her family with your children.
    • We are human, and sometimes, we speak out of pure frustration. When this cannot be avoided, vent without your children around. Speaking negatively about a children’s parent can lead to many emotional consequences that will make the process harder for everyone involved.
  3. Don’t interrogate your children after they spend time with the other parent.
    • You don’t like to be interrogated- neither do your children. There may be aspects of your former partner’s life you want to know about, but asking your children for information will make them feel as though they need to hide certain things from both sides, and that is not a healthy way to live.
  4. Don’t withhold the children from the other parent, absent allegations of physical, sexual, or substance abuse.
    • Typically, both parents are an invaluable part of a child’s life. Unless the circumstances are severe (physical/ emotional abuse, drug or alcohol related problems, etc), children should be allowed to see their parent, so that their lives can proceed normally.
  5. Don’t refer to the children as “my” children.  
    • Again, creating a side will make children feel like they have to take sides. This can cause emotional distress, and can lead to many other problems down the road.
  6. Don’t dwell on the past and your own marital issues when formulating the custody plan. 
    • This is something everyone struggles with, and it is understandable. A custody plan is typically designed to provide the children involved the best possible outcome. Dwelling on the past will not help mold a bright future for you, or your kids.
  7. Don’t use the children as leverage to obtain other things you may want in the divorce.
    • Children are not supposed to be leveraged. They should be loved, cared for, and watched over by both parents throughout any disagreement regarding custody.
  8. Don’t involve the children in your child support issues.
    • Children don’t think in terms of dollars. If parents are sharing details about child support, this can make children feel like a burden; no one wants to feel like they are weighing heavy one someone- especially not their parents.
  9. Don’t represent yourself.
    • For the best possible outcome, professional representation is always recommended. Tammy Karas Griggs is always available for any questions you may have, and is always prepared to represent clients in family law cases.
  10. Don’t listen to advice from your friends.  Instead, choose an attorney experienced in family law, and particularly custody cases.  
    • Our friends want what is best for us, but sometimes in all the commotion, they can miss some aspects of a custody battle. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney can ensure that you, and your child walk away with the best possible outcome. Contact Tammy Karas Griggs or call the office today at (985) 247 0345.
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