How Do I Share Custody of My Children With a Difficult Parent?

Co-parenting is often the most difficult part of a divorce or child custody case. After such vicious litigation, it can feel impossible for two parents to work together in the best interests of their children. The good news is that it is possible. Experienced child custody attorney Kyle Epps has extensive experience in child custody matters. He will help you negotiate or litigate as necessary to protect your children.

Before you file any sort of child custody lawsuit, it is important to have realistic expectations for the outcome of such litigation. Courts rarely award sole custody to one parent without a very strong case that the other parent is seriously unfit. This often requires significant proof that the other parent is using drugs, has neglected or abused a child, or otherwise poses some immediate danger to the children. O.C.G.A. §19-9-3 directs judges to determine only what is in the best interest of the child, and what will best promote the child’s welfare and happiness. Many parents get sidetracked from this goal and use the opportunity to tell the court what a terrible person the other parent is. This is rarely relevant what custody arrangements are in the child’s best interest.

In creating reasonable goals for custody litigation, there are a few important points to keep in mind:

(1) No one is right.

It can be very tempting to blame a former partner for everything that is wrong in the co-parenting relationship. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fix the situation. A court will expect both parents to address problems with the children, regardless of why such problems occurred in the first place.

(2)  Your kids come first.

Difficult co-parenting situations are full of complex emotions. There is often bitterness about things that happened in years past, or disappointment at the way the situation turned out, or anger that has been building up for decades. While these feelings are certainly valid, that doesn’t change the fact that your children need their parents to work together for their benefit. Family court judges see many cases. They are very adept at quickly recognizing when a parent is acting out of self-interest, and not in the best interest of the child.

(3) Don’t get stuck on ideas of how things “should be.”

Many co-parenting situations are less than ideal, and this can cause parents to become frustrated. Rather than imagining how you would like your co-parenting relationship to be, get creative to form co-parenting strategies that work for your family. Identify specific goals that can be addressed with simple changes. For example: if it is difficult for the parents to see one another at exchanges, consider scheduling these exchanges around the child’s school schedule. With one parent dropping off and the other picking up, there will be no need for nasty words or altercations at the exchange.

The Right Child Custody Attorney for You

Family matters are tense, and the stakes are high. Don’t leave the fate of your children to chance. Contact an experienced child custody attorney to ensure that your rights – and those of your children – are protected as much as possible. Call (678) 456-4627 schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an attorney in Suwanee, Johns Creek, Cumming, Forsyth County, Gwinnett County, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, or Dawson County. You can also schedule your consultation online.