Like all Virginia parents, you love your children and always have their best interests in mind when you make decisions that affect their lives. Perhaps, you regretted having to inform your kids that you were filing for divorce but are hopeful that, with a strong support network in place, they will be okay as you help them adapt to a new lifestyle. Child custody litigation can be stressful, so it’s wise to be well-prepared.
If you head to court with a mindset of refusing to cooperate with your ex because you don’t even want to have to interact with him or her, you might wind up making the situation more stressful than it has to be. It’s always best to approach child custody litigation in a way that lets the court know you’re willing to work as a team with your co-parent.
The more child custody issues you agree on, the better
Searching for common ground can help reduce the stress of child custody litigation. What do you and your ex agree on regarding your children? Focus on that and go from there to develop a fair agreement. The less issues you have to battle out in court, the swifter and more amicably you’ll be likely to achieve a settlement.
How to handle extenuating circumstances
Perhaps, you know ahead of time that you won’t be able to merely walk into court with an agreed-upon co-parenting plan in hand because there are serious issues you need the court to help you resolve. For instance, maybe you strongly suspect that your ex has a substance abuse problem or that your children will somehow be at risk if they spend unsupervised time with him or her.
Never hesitate to reach out for additional support and to bring such matters to the court’s immediate attention. The judge overseeing your case undoubtedly wants to issue a ruling that is based on what is best for your kids.
Parental alienation and other child custody problems
If you and your ex parted ways not on the best of terms, you are definitely not the only set of parents in Virginia to do so. Not getting along as individuals is different than having a co-parent trying to impede your relationship with your children or usurp your authority and undermine your parental rights.
These are serious child custody issues that you may not feel equipped to handle on your own. The good news is that you don’t have to try because there are support systems in place to help you resolve such problems.