Does your child want to change child custody or parenting time orders after your San Diego Divorce? Has your child approached you asking if they can spend more time with or live with your former spouse? After everything you’ve been through you are probably wondering how in the world to process this request.
It is absolutely appropriate to establish rules surrounding your child’s communications and respect. It is not appropriate for them to be rude towards you or to yell and scream and make threats. There should be ground rules in place.
However, even if the child has calmly and respectfully shared the fact they want to change child custody or parenting time orders it is quite natural to feel a substantial range of emotions. Your child probably has little to no idea how much this really hurts you.
The key point to remember is the Court is interested in the best interests of the child. In the midst of everything else you are having to manage during the COVID-19 crisis and life in general this difficult conversation would rock any parent’s world. This isn’t the time for panic or an emotional response. This almost certainly isn’t a moment to chastise the child. Remember, your actions in these moments can either work for you or against you when they are ultimately presented to the Court.
An open mind and patient focus on your child and their thoughts is what will get you through this. If you are struggling, simply begin with the basics – what is it that your child is requesting what has changed to make your child want to change child custody or parenting time orders in your case? Try to remain calm and hear what your child is offering and why.
The first conversation may just be a summary opening. “I hear you. I’m open to having a conversation about this but I need some time to think about things. Can we come back to this (at some point in the near future)?”
What is the relationship like with your co-parent? The Court would ideally like to see both parents working together to serve the best interests of the child. The co-parents should be working together whenever possible. Has the child discussed their ideas with the other parent? Try to get as much information as you can and keep the channel of communications open with your co-parent.
Once you have more information, the perspective of the co-parent and some time to work through initial emotions its time to sit down with your child and have an open talk.
This is absolutely challenging for any co-parent and managing your emotions and the hurt you may feel can be overwhelming. If you are struggling to process the situation you should absolutely consider seeking the advice and support of a professional counselor. You should also reach out to our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists to learn more about your unique circumstances and how the Court may view your case.
Does your child want to change child custody or parenting time orders after your San Divorce? Insight from professionals can help you to process emotions and gain practical insight to help you manage these crucial conversations.