If you want to get a divorce, you probably don’t agree with your spouse about much right now. You might blame each other for the issues in your marriage and may each have your own idea about what’s fair and appropriate for splitting up your property and spending time with your kids.
When divorcing couples can’t agree on important matters during their divorce, they may have to litigate those issues. Litigating custody can be a difficult, stressful and expensive process. Litigating custody terms definitely has potential negative consequences for your family.
Litigation increases anger between parents and stress on the children
When you and your ex view one another as the enemies in custody proceedings, that attitude can spill over into your daily interactions and even how you talk about one another. The angrier you are, the harder it is to shield your children from your negativity.
Watching their parents attack one another can be stressful and emotionally damaging for children. They are often aware when parents try to pressure them to pick a favorite and may worry about the long-term repercussions of having to make a statement about their custody preferences in court.
You will pay a lot more without achieving much
Parents can spend hours testifying and hundreds of dollars paying for therapy and social work sessions to try to support their side of a custody disagreement. All of that effort and expense will potentially shift how the courts split custody, but it likely won’t have a massive effect.
Unless there is evidence of neglect or abuse that puts the children at risk, custody proceedings are unlikely to end with the judge denying one parent access to the children. All that litigation achieves for some couples is making the process much longer and more expensive.
Custody mediation or negotiations can make things easier for your family
You don’t need to ask the courts to take control over custody issues. You and your ex can set your own terms, possibly by working together in custody mediation before you file. If you choose to work together instead of litigating, you have the final say in what terms you include in your parenting plan.
Really exploring the needs of your children and the resources each of you can commit to parenting together will make it easier for you to create a shared custody agreement that works for your family, all without stressing your children or straining your budget.