- REFRAIN FROM INVOLVING CHILDREN IN THE LITIGATION
Involving children in parenting proceedings can make the proceedings more stressful for the children than they are for the parents. Parents should shield children from child custody proceedings as best as possible. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, particularly with older children, but all children who have a tendency to stickybeak really need to know is that “mum and dad are sorting things out with the Court’s help”. By intentionally involving children in Court proceedings you not only run the risk of damaging your children, but you also jeopardise your case.
- REFRAIN FROM ENGAGING IN PARENTAL CONFLICT IN THE CHILDREN’S PRESENCE
We get it – things can get heated in parenting proceedings. You wouldn’t be involved in litigation in the first place if everything was hunky-dory! Nonetheless, if something unexpected comes up when your child is around which presents potential for parental conflict, usually it’s better to just walk away and attempt to resolve the issue when passions have cooled and your child isn’t at risk of seeing or hearing you attempt to resolve the issue. Every situation is different of course, and if a child is in danger, or emergent circumstances arise for instance, you should consider contacting the police, but if there’s no emergency, put the issue of the back-burner and resolve it later.
- ACCEPT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE OTHER PARENT’S POSITIVE PARENTING CHARACTERISTICS
Child custody litigation is not about assassinating the character of the other parent, particularly now that the Family Law Courts place a greater emphasis on shared parenting arrangements. If another party does certain things well as a parent, give them credit for it.
- DON’T BITE BACK
The old saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” holds true when it comes to child custody proceedings. Just because the other parent sends you a nasty e-mail doesn’t mean you should send one back. Mature, responsible parents take the high road. Engaging in ‘tit for tat’ isn’t conducive to a good co-parenting relationship, or good parenting full-stop. You won’t get credit for “explaining how she’s wrong”, but you will get credit for focussing on your children, rather than undue criticism you may have been subjected to.
This article was written by Townsville child custody lawyer, Kyle Barram. Kyle’s in charge of the Townsville family law solicitor team at Gun Lawyers.