Looking ahead to life after a child custody decision

In our last post we focused on things fathers should know before walking into the courtroom. And while it is certainly important for a dad to know exactly what he wants and to have an attorney who understands those wants, it is also important that a father thinks about what life will look like outside of the courtroom.

For example, say a father just accepts a child custody arrangement from an ex-wife and settles. This arrangement means dad gets the child every other weekend and every Thursday night dinner. On first glance, this may seem like ample time.

However, give it a second look. Write it out on a calendar. This would mean that there are two times a month that a child and father go an entire week without seeing each other. Is this really in the best interests of the child? Is this really fair to the father?

In the above example, the above arrangement would also mean mothers would be going for an entire week twice a month without the help of the other parent. This arrangement could end up being hard on everyone involved.

In this light, talking about the mothers, fathers should remember that after the courtroom, once the custody arrangement has been finalized, parents enter the phase of co-parenting. This means working together to raise children the best to each’s ability — separately — yet still together.

This is why when going through a custody battle, parents should keep in mind that no matter what happens, both are still parents who will need to work together to raise their kids after the arrangements are made. For some couples, keeping this in mind helps to lessen the animosity in the courtroom while coming up with a custody and visitation schedule.

Source: Huffington Post blog, “Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court,” Morghan Leia Richardson, May 23, 2013

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