This is the third in a series of posts of simple reminders for those traveling down a family law litigation path.
The ABC’s of Divorce and Child Custody, Continued:
Give a little sometimes – not all the time. It does not always have to be tit for tat. It’s not about you. It’s about your child. Ask yourself “does my child’s benefit outweigh my inconvenience?” For example, it is probably not your first reaction to say “sure, no problem” when your child’s other parent requests that your child spend an extra night to have a sleepover at the other parent’s house with his or her cousins. Your initial reaction may be “no way, Jose, that’s MY night with my child,” but in that case, by not letting your child spend time with his or her cousins and having fun, who’s really losing? Your child. I’m not saying to always give in, but be reasonable and flexible when appropriate.
Have patience. Having a visitation schedule is new for everyone involved, including your child. You can expect things to be rocky sometimes, but have a little patience in the adjustment period. Soon enough it will become your “new normal” and you will settle into a routine.
It’s ok to get upset, angry, mad, sad, etc. It’s NOT ok to let those emotions control your life and your decisions. Seek out counseling if you are having trouble navigating through this legal process of divorce or custody. This is an expected stressful time and to experience it completely emotionless is not ideal. It is normal to feel all kinds of emotions during this roller coaster ride, but it is not normal to allow it to overtake your life choices. Seeking out counseling is not a bad idea. It gives you an outlet to discuss the changes in your feelings and provides you with advice and guidance on how to appropriately handle this life-changing process.