Five Ways to Avoid Litigation in Child Custody Cases
by Danica Joan Dockery, M.Ed
Child custody cases can be emotionally charged and contentious, often resulting in lengthy and costly litigation. As a parent, it is important to know how to navigate these situations in a way that minimizes conflict and promotes the best interests of your child. Here are some tips on how to avoid litigation in a child custody case.
- Communicate Effectively
Communication is key when it comes to resolving conflicts related to child custody. Both parents should make a conscious effort to communicate clearly and respectfully with one another. Try to keep conversations focused on the needs and interests of the child, rather than personal issues or grievances. If necessary, consider using a mediator or a therapist to facilitate productive discussions.
- Be Flexible
Flexibility is also important in avoiding litigation. Parents should be willing to consider each other’s schedules and needs when determining custody arrangements. This may require making compromises and adjusting plans as circumstances change. Remember, the goal should be to create a custody plan that works for both parents and, most importantly, the child.
- Keep the Child’s Best Interests in Mind
The best interests of the child should always be the top priority in a custody case. Parents should be willing to set aside their own desires and preferences to ensure that their child is receiving the care and attention they need. This may require making sacrifices or compromising on certain issues, but ultimately it will benefit everyone involved.
- Seek Professional Help
If parents are struggling to reach an agreement on custody, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a family law attorney or a mediator. These professionals can provide guidance on legal requirements and help parents find common ground on difficult issues. It is important to choose a professional who is experienced in child custody cases and who has a reputation for being fair and impartial.
- Follow Court Orders
If a custody arrangement is ordered by a court, it is important to follow it as closely as possible. This includes adhering to visitation schedules, attending scheduled meetings or appointments, and complying with any other requirements set forth by the court. Failure to follow court orders can result in legal consequences and may harm your case in the long run.
In conclusion, avoiding litigation in a child custody case requires effective communication, flexibility, a focus on the child’s best interests, seeking professional help, and following court orders. By keeping these tips in mind, parents can work together to create a custody arrangement that promotes the well-being of their child and minimizes conflict.
Danica Joan Dockery is a certified family mediator, anger management/domestic violence specialist and co-parenting expert, the author of “A Happy Child Co-Parenting Course” a court ordered family stabilization course for parents who are navigating the challenges of co-parenting after a breakup. She is also the founder of Kids Need Both, Inc and co-creator of the Hope4Families.net platform, a collaborative community that provides education, support and resources to families.
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