Going forward with a divorce is hard enough on a couple, but add children to the mix and the problems multiply tenfold. No matter how amicable the relationship is, there will always be an issue about who will spend the majority of the time with the children. Couples should work out the details of the child custody arrangements with the help of a family law attorney. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a child custody dispute.
Know the Law
Pennsylvania is unique when it comes to child custody laws, so make sure you’re familiar with the laws in our State. As is most often the case, it is a crime to hide children or remove them from the other party outside the jurisdiction of the Court. For example, if you decide to move, you may not be able to relocate without Court approval. The children usually must continue to maintain some relationship with the other parent.
Be Open During Mediation
You may have resentments against the other parent; however, try to keep an open mind and put those feelings aside when discussing a workable plan that benefits the children. Retain a positive outlook when walking into the mediation – with an intention to settle the custody case amicably. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t work out this way, and the mediator will try to get both parties to agree to the best plan possible, before moving forward to a Judge.
Come up with a Schedule
Have a proposed schedule prepared up in writing. This written plan will help both parties solidify a proposal that each can follow throughout the year. Having it all spelled out in advance — and agreed to — will go further in trying to ensure compliance. The more details that you include in the plan — such as who gets the children on holidays — can go a long way to solidifying a workable plan. Your lawyer can help with this scheduling, so that both parties stay civil and on track.
Keep Your Cool
Don’t bring personal battles into child custody mediation. Make it a point to keep a calm head and try to approach the custody matter objectively. There may be a lot of anxiety between both parties so try to put personal feelings aside. Remember that custody is often decided based upon the best interests of the child or children in question, with the Court considering factors like wishes of the child, the relationship between the child and each parent, the amount of adjustment to a school and community on behalf of the child, and the physical and mental health of all parties.
To help with your child custody dispute, be sure to promptly consult with an attorney from Covelli Law Offices who has proven skills in this area of the law. Our Family Law and Custody lawyers understand that your custody battle may be a difficult time for both you and your children. That’s why we make your children’s best interests our top priority, working with you to help protect your custody rights. Contact our Law Firm today, and let us guide and assist you during this very difficult time.