There is no question that you want what is best for your child. At one point, this may have included the stability of a happy family, but this is not always a guarantee parents can make. If you are heading for divorce court, your primary concern may be maintaining low levels of stress and anxiety for your children.
However, when it comes to custody battles, it is difficult to avoid stress and anxiety. If you and your spouse are unable to work out a parenting plan together, heading to court may mean you are going toe-to-toe for the custody of the kids. This is a fight you never wanted, but the outcome will affect the rest of your life as well as the lives of the children. Therefore, you want to take every opportunity to put your best foot forward.
Ideally, the goal of a custody battle is to provide for the best interests of the children. Most courts in Tennessee and across the country begin with the principle that equal access to both parents offers the best opportunity for a stable upbringing. This may or may not be the case in your family, but if your spouse can offer a loving bond to the children, the court may frown on any efforts to keep them apart.
In fact, as ironic as it may seem, your willingness to cooperate with your ex in parenting matters may be a factor in your favor. Other things the court may consider include the following:
- Can you supply for the physical needs of the children, including food, clothing and a safe home environment?
- Can you meet the children’s emotional needs, such as showing support for their interests and being involved in their activities?
- Are you interested in their education, as demonstrated by your help with homework and participating where you can at school?
- Do you have a consistent routine for the kids with minimal disruptions?
- Will custody with you be a continuation of that predictable routine, or will it cause a major disruption in your children’s lives?
These are only a few questions the court will ask, and your presentation in court will have a tremendous effect on the outcome. This is why having an attorney at your side may be a wise decision. You not only want solid legal advice, but you may also be looking for someone who will be as dedicated to your goals and the best interests of the children as you are.