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Focus on your children when you battle custody issues

Child custody issues are a huge factor for parents. In some cases, one parent is going to use the child custody matters against the other parent. This is a shame when it happens, but preparing yourself for the proceedings might help you to come up with a plan for handling the "worst case scenario."

There are a few things that might occur during the process of determining child custody orders.

Your child must be the focal point

Your child has to remain in the center of the case. You must not fall into the temptation of letting the child custody case become something that is used to get back at your ex. If you find that things are veering off course with the compromises, work to get them back on track or take some time to refocus your efforts. If you are working with a mediator, you can let the mediator know your concerns so that he or she can address them.

Your child has a voice

Unless your children are very young, they can let you know their thoughts about some matters. This doesn't mean that you need to let your children know the dirty details about child custody matters. You also should not "pump" children for information or question them too much about your custody situation.

Instead, pay attention to your children's behavior and some things that they say to determine how your children feel about the current state of things. Some older children might be able to speak for themselves during the process. Just make sure that your child isn't overwhelmed with the situation.

Your relationship with your ex must be respectful

Even though you and your ex aren't romantically involved, you will still need to deal with each other for matters related to the children. Remain respectful throughout the process. Setting standards for communication can help. You may find that it is better to adopt a business-like tone when you deal with your ex. If the discussion gets too intense, take a step back from things and come back after you and your ex have a chance to calm down. There are some cases when you might find that misunderstandings are far too common. Communicating in writing could lessen this possibility, but make sure that you aren't writing in a way that could be misconstrued.

Child custody matters are very personal for families. Make sure that you are prepared for each proceeding that comes up. The child custody order should be as comprehensive as possible so that you can use it when problems creep up in the future.

How are you keeping your child's needs at the center of your divorce?

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