Do you intend to co-parent during and after a Carlsbad divorce? If you wish to share child custody and/or parenting time with your former spouse it will be important to carefully manage your relationship with the co-parent throughout the divorce and in the coming months and years.
What are some tips for those who plan to co-parent during and after a Carlsbad divorce? The first thing you need to consider is the Court’s perspective on child custody and parenting time: the best interests of the child(ren) is the guiding principle in these matters. The Court will carefully observe each party throughout the divorce process. The Judge is evaluating how you handle communications with your potential co-parent and your ability to keep the children’s best interests in mind at all times.
The first strategy you develop should concern communications. Expect that every communication, every text, every email, every voicemail and even social media posts can and will be presented as evidence in your case. The basic rule is never to communicate when you are emotional or upset. This is obviously quite challenging in the context of a divorce but is an issue you should give serious consideration. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into a heated discussion in any format. Take a break, set your device down or walk away from your computer. Come back to the discussion when you have had time to reflect and manage the inevitable emotions.
Co-parenting does not provide one with the opportunity to dictate how things will be done in the other household. Flexibility is a trait Judges look for when reviewing co-parenting plans. Remember, the ultimate goal of any shared custody or parenting time plan is to provide each child with a safe, stable relationship and open communications with each parent.
Parents often genuinely disagree on many things. This extends to everything from what a child wears to the amount of time they spend online or gaming. Shared parenting is not a license to maintain input or control of many of the specific behaviors of your child(ren). Rules in each household may be different.
There are behaviors which are obviously unacceptable and which should immediately be brought to the attention of the Court. This extends to drug and alcohol abuse, consistent poor performance in school or exposure to inappropriate or criminal conduct.
Parental alienation has become a central issue in many child custody and parenting time cases. Parental alienation involves driving a wedge between the child(ren) and a former spouse. If one parent constantly speaks badly of their former spouse in front of the child(ren), attempts to damage the parent-child relationship bond or limit access such as the ability to text, talk on the phone or exchange voicemails or emails you should take immediate action to protect your interests.
Flexibility, communications and the ability to discern when to intervene and when to “live and let live” are important ingredients to balance if you wish to co-parent during and after a Carlsbad divorce. The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq provide sound advice and counsel and work with our clients to develop effective strategies to help them to accomplish their goals for the divorce, including child custody and parenting time.