Going through a divorce is never easy, but it can be particularly messy when children are involved. Alongside all the other issues, you’ll need to place a huge focus on the concept of custody, access and contact. In truth, getting the right result here is the most important factor by far.
Given that this is probably the first (and hopefully last) time that you’ll ever experience this process, it can leave you feeling a little confused and unsure. Here are five simple tips to keep you on the right track.
#1. Remember Your Child Comes First
Before the process even reaches the courts, you need to set out your vision of what you’d like to gain in terms of custody and visitation rights. While a part of you will naturally desire full custody with no visitation rights for your ex-spouse, this is rarely the right option for your child. Unless there is a genuine reason to stop your child from seeing their other parent, you need to put any differences aside and try to find the best solution for your child. Kids deserve a strong bond with both parents.
#2. Do Your Research
Family law and divorces can be complicated, which is why you need to know what’s about to happen. Familiarise yourself with the key components of a parenting plan, such as decision making, education, medical, religion, and extra-curricular activities. Meanwhile, you should prepare yourself for court itself as removing the element of surprise can have a significant impact on your mindset. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from friends and relatives that have been through a similar situation.
#3. Have Documents
If you have a high conflict ex, you need to prove that co-parenting with them impacts on decision making. The courts will also look to the recent past to see who has been making those key decisions. If you have been the main decision maker and wish to retain this status, it’s vital that you prepare documents. Hard evidence will carry far more weight than words alone. It also removes the threat of crossed wires or confusion.
#4. Be Realistic About Schedules
Juggling parenting duties with other life responsibilities isn’t easy, but it’s a lot simpler when parents work together. This can still occur when you aren’t living together. If you each work different days, it makes sense to agree on a schedule that is convenient for both parents. After all, consistency is one of the most crucial factors for your child, and this should not be forgotten. The transitions from one home to the other can be a contentious point. If you can’t deal with each other, the after school run is the perfect solution.
#5. Find A Great Solicitor
While you can certainly help prepare your case, it’s imperative that you find a great solicitor to present your arguments in court. Representing yourself is never a great idea because you won’t appreciate the nuances of the process. Likewise, emotions will be running wild, which is why having an expert who is fully focused on getting the right outcome by your side is essential. When supported by the other elements mentioned above, getting the best decisions for you and – crucially – your son or daughter will be far greater.
We know how upsetting and overwhelming it can be to go through a divorce. But finding the right solicitor is crucial to ensure you are guaranteed the best outcome for you and your children. If you are looking for a professional and reliable family law solicitor then H McPartland & Sons in Lurgan and Lisburn can offer you just that – expert legal services around all areas of family law including child support, child custody and child welfare. We are fully committed to you throughout your dealings with us, and treat each client on a case by case basis so that you get tailored legal advice for whatever family law issue you need assistance with. Our solicitors in Lurgan and Lisburn provide you with first class legal assistance, and have many years of experience in negotiating agreements and settlements to the satisfaction of our clients. Contact our Lurgan or Lisburn Offices today for advice or to arrange a meeting.