Probably very few things in this world matter more to you than your relationship with your children. The thought of losing time with them or damaging the connection you have with them can push you to battle over custody terms with your ex.
However, this contentious approach isn’t always what is best for your family. In fact, you may benefit far more from working together with your ex to set custody terms on your own. There are many positive consequences from doing so, including the three convincing ones below.
You minimize the conflict that involves your children
No one denies that divorce is hard on kids, but parental conflict makes it infinitely more stressful. When parents make a concerted effort to cooperate with one another and not to involve their children in their arguments or divorce proceedings, everything may be much easier for the kids.
When you handle custody matters on your own, the children don’t have to testify about their preferences or get in the middle of a battle between the parents that they love.
You have the final say in the terms that you set
If you litigate your divorce proceedings, the family law judge presiding over your case is one who gets to set all of the final terms.
When you and your ex work together to negotiate a parenting plan, you decide how you want to split up parenting time and what rules will most benefit your family. You can create solutions that are tailor-made for the needs of both parents and your children.
Choosing not to litigate will mean a less expensive divorce
Contested divorce proceedings typically take longer than uncontested ones. Not only do you need a chance to present evidence or give testimony, but a judge also has to spend time carefully considering your family circumstances. You will likely have higher overall court costs and divorce expenses when you have to litigate the details of your divorce.
Even if you go through mediation, working together will probably mean a lower final bill for your divorce. Recognizing that working together for custody decisions benefits both of you and the kids can motivate the two of you to cooperate.