How to Avoid Treading Water in Child Custody…
It’s certainly better than drowning and avoiding the depths of Child Custody despair is a victory in itself, but merely maintaining circumstances that are either suboptimal for your child or unfair to you is not a viable long-term strategy.
In this article, we’ll look at opportunities to make real progress in Child Custody and Co-Parenting or, as we like to say, to move the ball down the field.
First, and perhaps most obviously, you and your child deserve an appropriate amount of time together. This means establishing or modifying a clear Child Custody & Visitation Schedule. Once established, all sides should adhere and be held accountable to that schedule.
In this brave new world we live in and that many thoughtful and open-minded judges are at least vaguely aware of equal Physical Custody as a viable option. More often, though, one side will have Sole Physical Custody subject to the Other Side’s visitation schedule. You can review some “Standard Visitation Schedules” here: www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/standard_visitation/
Second, you can deepen the quality of the time you have with your child. This means, first and foremost, putting the phone and any other screen down. If watching Youtube kids on the tablet is the only way to avoid a stage 5 meltdown then at least engage with the child regarding what they’re watching. (If you’re not familiar with the concept of “Serve and Return” in engaging with your child then the information at https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/serve-and-return/ is fascinating.)
Third, and this is maybe the trickiest one, is to be grateful for and consider the whole of your life. You’re not just a mother, a father or caring relative. You are a unique person aside from parenthood. And a lot of things you can do for yourself will trickle into Child Custody and Co-Parenting. Is there an opportunity at work you want to dial in on? Could you be in better shape, which will obviously affect all parts of your life…
…could you meet with a Counselor to identify your blind spots and address fundamental issues that were at least on some level complicit in leading to today’s challenges.
It’s not always about going out and “winning” a Child Custody case. You can be a better Co-Parent starting today and for free by being a better you.
This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot