When parents go through a custody battle, their children can often become pawns in the game. Parents may try to use their children as a way to get back at the other parent, or they may inadvertently say things about the other parent that could hurt the child's relationship with them. It is important for parents to protect their children during this difficult time and put their best interests first. In this blog post, our Smith & Sturdivant, LLLC child custody attorneys share tips on how parents can protect their children while fighting for custody.
Do Not Use Your Children As a Tool
If you are in the middle of a custody battle, or if you are about to start one, there are some things you can do to protect your children. First and foremost, remember that your children are not to be used as a tool to get back at the other parent or to score points against them. This will only serve to damage your children's relationship with both parents. Instead, do not involve your children in your conflict with their other parent. If the other parent tries to bring your children into your conflict, try to find a way to take your children out of the equation and settle your differences without your children present or involved.
Limit Negative Conversation
You should speak mindfully about the other parent around your children. It is important that they have a positive relationship with both parents, and speaking negatively about the other parent will only hurt that relationship. If you must talk about the other parent, try to do so neutrally or positively to demonstrate a positive relationship with your children.
You may find that you are able to limit speaking negatively about your children's other parent, but they are unable to do the same. If that is the case, encourage your children to share their feelings and discuss what they think of those conversations. Try not to take the negative talk personally, and instead, try to understand that your children's other parent may be frustrated while trying to finalize your custody agreement.
Be Active In Your Children's Lives
Being an active parent can help your children feel cared for and protected during this hostile time. This means being involved in their day-to-day life and being there when they need you. Examples of how to stay active with your children during this conflict include:
- Making special plans for each of you to enjoy together,
- Catching up on each child’s interests and hobbies,
- Taking the time to surprise your children and make their day, and
- Attending your children’s extracurricular activities.
Staying active in your children's lives also means checking in on their schooling, grades, and mental well-being. If you or another adult in your children's lives notice that your child is struggling or acting out, make sure to create a plan and devote resources to helping your child thrive. This can include extra tutoring, therapy, or just one-on-one time with each parent.
Smith & Sturdivant, LLLC Custody Attorneys
Protecting your children during a custody battle can be difficult if you are not prepared. Our child custody attorneys are experienced in guiding families through tense conflicts and protecting the children's best interests. Together, we can help your family create a custody agreement that benefits all parties.
Are you in a custody battle and concerned about your child’s welfare? Schedule a consultation with our team today by calling (808) 201-3898 or contacting us online.