Fighting Your Fears in a Child Custody Battle
Going through a divorce is emotionally draining. In many ways, it is like a death that has to be mourned. A contentious divorce can be especially stressful with both legal and personal wrangling over finances and property. Most parents would agree, however, that nothing is more emotionally trying than being involved in a child custody battle with a spouse. It not only causes stress and anger, but also fear of losing a child.
However, if you are involved in a child custody battle, there are steps you can take to help alleviate those fears and minimize the damage to your family’s quality of life.
Steps to Alleviate Your Fears in a Child Custody Battle
One key point to remember is that although, through your terror, you may be in disbelief that this is even happening to you, people who work in the legal system see these battles every day. A mediator, guardian ad litem (GAL), judge, attorneys, and anyone else who may be involved in your case, although sympathetic, understand that this storm will eventually pass for you and your family. For example, you may be livid with the other parent for something he or she did and may not understand why the GAL does not see it the same way. Just remember that every person is working towards what is best for your child.
Another real fear that parents deal with in a custody battle is the threat that an ex-spouse is going to expose one's “dirty laundry” to a court. Issues such as past substance abuse, mental health issues, and sexual orientation are several factors that parents try to use against each other. It is important to let your attorney know anything that your ex may try to use to discredit your ability to parent. Your attorney is not going to judge. He or she is there to be an advocate for you and your child. Many people have “skeletons in the closet,” and as long as those skeletons are truly in your past, they will probably not affect your case.
As difficult as it may be, it is also critical to not use your child as a support system or sounding board. Your child needs you to be strong and stable—even on those days where you are feeling completely overwhelmed. Use adult family members, such as parents, siblings, or close friends to sound off to about the situation.
Consult a Compassionate Divorce Attorney
If you are considering divorce and fear an acrimonious child custody battle, please contact a compassionate Geneva divorce attorney today to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are here to help you throughout this difficult time.