Because they are so common, everyone knows what a custody battle and custody dispute are. When parents divorce or separated and cannot agree on a plan for how they will raise their children, many times they start a battle. One parent decides to litigate for child custody, which means that the parent takes the other parent to court, and the process begins. Sadley, custody litigation rarely leads to a happy ending, and it usually has determental effects on the children. Here are reasons why parents should avoid custody litigation.
To begin with, parents need to understand what happens when they litigate for custody. If the mother and father are not able to agree on parenting plan or custody agreement, they can go to court. When they are at court, they both present their side of the case, and the judge determines the custody agreement. The judge can take either parents’ plan or create an entire new plan.
When parents stop trying to work together on the agreement, they leave the fate of their child in the hands of the judge, who is a complete stranger. This rarely leads to the best plan for the child. Parents and children are happiest with an agreement when everyone contributes and it is made for the child's benefit.
The outcome of custody litigation is unpredictable. Every state has guidelines for the judge to follow when deciding about the custody agreement, but the judge has a lot of leeway. The basic standard is that the judge do what is best for the child-but that is entirely up to the judge's interpretation. There is no saying what the result will be when parents go to custody court.
Custody battles are also very expensive. Generally, when one parent decides to litigate, that parent hires and attorney. Very quickly, the other parent hires an attorney. Then the parents go to court over and over as every little issue is litigated. This takes an immense amount of time, and the cost increases exponentially. There is the cost of filing papers with the court, attorney's fees, the time it takes to research, paying for custody evaluations, getting testimony from a therapist or social worker, etc.
Plus, going to court repeatedly and escalating the custody situation to a fight has damaging effects on the child. Children are very sensitive and they know when the parents are angry. When there is ongoing conflict, the children suffer. They do not have a consistent child custody schedule , and the child has worries and concerns about the future.
Because of these reasons, parents should do everything possible to negotiate a fair visitation schedule . There are various tools that parents can use to do this. Parents can research information on the internet, use a parenting plan template , go to custody mediation, etc. All of this will pay off when there is a good custody agreement that is best for the children.