Don’t let contentious custody battles intimidate you

| Jul 3, 2019 | Firm News

Auburn parents who are going through a divorce typically struggle the most with coming up with workable custody arrangements that satisfy both parties. But getting to that point can involve a lot of contentious bickering.

The situation can sometimes even escalate into physical battles or vengeful tactics that benefit no one — least of all the minor children. There is a better way, and the following tips may bring you closer to solving your custody dilemmas.

Remain level-headed

If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is ranting and raving inches from your face, it can be quite difficult not to respond in kind. But this is just when it is most important not to react in anger.

Remaining calm and refusing to engage with someone who is screaming or cursing at you gives you the upper hand. Close the door, walk away, hang up the phone and refuse to discuss matters further until your child’s other parent has calmed down.

Set clear boundaries

Emergencies aside, soon-to-be exes should not have 100% access to you as they would if you were still together. Determine when, how and under which circumstances your former spouse can contact you. Don’t be afraid to hold your bottom line. Remember that what you allow is what will continue.

Practice self-awareness

Your focus should remain on your response to the custody challenges and not how your ex reacts. In particularly high-conflict custody battles, realizing that you have zero chance to change your spouse’s perceptions or reactions is vital.

Begin journaling

Starting a divorce journal is a good way to vent healthfully. It also provides a written record of your version of events that could be useful later in court. This log can indicate patterns and problems with the custody arrangements that could work on your behalf when drafting future custody orders.

Keep a tight circle

In contested custody battles, not everyone you encounter is a true friend. Some may be actually working actively against you trying to dig up some dirt to feed to your ex to use against you in court.

Hold your cards close to your vest and don’t reveal your plans to anyone but your closest friends or family members. Knowledge is power, so keep a tight lid on the information flow.

Compromise is key

It’s a rare custody case where one parent makes all the concessions. But offering to compromise on lesser issues can give you a psychological advantage because it shows a willingness to work together for the greater good.

Overwhelmed? That’s understandable. It’s always a good idea to work closely with your family law attorney during heated custody disputes with your ex. That way, you will stay compliant with any custody orders already in place while working to create a more tenable long-term solution.