Divorces don’t just split up two spouses; the process divides spouses’ finances, parenting rights, residences and much more. In general, Rhode Island courts encourage former spouses to come up with co-parenting agreements on their own, but amicable child custody isn’t always possible. Here are some ways to prepare for a child custody battle.
Don’t hope for the worst
Popular culture generally portrays divorces as being tough affairs that yield unfair results for at least one parent. This isn’t always true. Even if you have a feeling that your divorce won’t have a happy ending, don’t assume the worst from the get-go.
In Rhode Island, one spouse petitions the court for a divorce. Immediately after it’s granted by the court, that spouse needs to serve the other spouse with divorce papers. From there, it’s time to begin child custody negotiations.
If possible, meet with your spouse and discuss child custody expectations. Involving an attorney will ensure that both of you keep reasonable, legally acceptable results in mind. If you can’t cordially reach a conclusion, you can expect a full-fledged custody battle.
Preparing for your child custody and support battle
You might expect to have your partner exaggerate your shortcomings and play up their own strengths. Since you can’t reach an agreement out of court, be ready for this to take place in front of a judge.
Judges need to know that you’re a responsible parent. You should always make yourself available for child-related obligations regardless of what it takes. Always arrive to visits and custody swaps on time.
Avoid doing things that place strain on your children. You should also treat your children as if they’ll repeat everything they’re told. Talking bad about your partner in front of your children, even in a joking manner, could leave you in hot water.
Being anxious about child custody and support outcomes is normal. Since you’re anxious about it, it’s clear that you care about your children’s future. Hiring a family law attorney to represent you may help illustrate to the court your fitness as a parent and improve the chance of a positive outcome.