A legal custody dispute with a co-parent is an incredibly challenging and emotional court case. In many cases, parents will present as competing against each other as opposed to presenting the actual factors that a judge must consider when deterring the best interest of a child. For most parents, the most important thing is their child’s welfare but the anxiety of a court battle frequently misdirects a parent’s focus.
In this post, we’ll discuss one way to put your best foot forward, either in negotiations with your ex or in presentations to the court: avoiding competition with your ex.
Refrain from competition
It can be tempting to think of the custody case as a battle against your ex. But this is not always the most productive outlook. Typically, the courts prefer both parents to be actively involved in the upbringing of the child, unless there are any safety concerns. Thus, you need to show that you can work with your co-parent. Making it more difficult for them to see the child or trying to score points against them could actually end up reflecting badly on you.
In most cases, it’s better to work with your co-parent rather than against them. This is something that may help you work out an agreeable custody/parenting arrangement with the other parent.
When cooperation isn’t possible
In some circumstances, however, effective cooperation and collaboration with an your former spouse simply isn’t possible. For example, if your ex was or is abusive there may be no firm basis upon which you can work together. It may be necessary, in this situation, seeking full custody – or at least limiting your interaction with the ex – is completely understandable.
There may be other situations as well where competition with an ex simply isn’t feasible. This could include issues such as an ex’s incarceration or substance abuse. As with domestic violence or abuse, no matter how much you may want to collaborate, you may not have a willing partner.
One thing you definitely do want to do is seek some legal guidance as you try to assert your parental rights.