When you’re knee-deep in dissolving a relationship––and you have children to consider––there are ways you––and your children––can come out on top while “suffering” the least amount of emotional hurt and pain.
Keep these top-ten hacks in mind as you’re preparing for your child custody evaluation and/or working with your attorney to create a healthy custody and parenting time judgment.
- Focus on winning the war that matters—the long-term health, safety, welfare, and best interest of your child. That war cannot be won by destroying their other parent.
- Listen to your gut. Always, always, always listen to your gut and make adjustments.
- Install parental control software—Covenant Eyes, Circle Home Plus, Qustodio, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Locategy.
- When the floodgates on your child’s mouth open, listen. You have two ears and one mouth—use them proportionately.
- Listen to the judge and follow all of their orders.
- Eliminate the words “my child” from your vocabulary. Do not say or write these words anyplace during an evaluation or while testifying in court. Children are not possessions, and they do not “belong” to you or the other parent.
- Read these books: Joint Custody with a Jerk, People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys, and Loving Your Children More Than You Hate Each Other.
- Your child needs you to take care of their parents. Hold onto all the good qualities that first drew you to the other parent. You cannot fake “good” in the eyes of your child, and you cannot love your child completely if you hold contempt for their other parent.
- Children need one safe parent to thrive. Commit to being that parent.
- Monitor and educate the people who are around your child about the impact of their words, opinions, and beliefs, so they can be a support to your child and not accidentally inflict harm because they do not know better.