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Divorce is difficult enough when there are just two people involved. However, emotions can intensify when a couple has a child or children. Many people believe that settling child custody issues must be a messy and emotionally explosive process. While that can be true, and often is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are four steps you can follow to avoid a complicated custody battle.

Take the civil approach

Understand that the decisions you make before going into child custody negotiations can have a significant impact on the results. 

  • Adopt the mindset that working out child custody issues with your spouse can be calm and respectful.
  • Resolve not to argue with your spouse during discussions.
  • Try your best to keep your feelings about your ending marriage separate from child custody discussions. If this is too difficult, consider talking with a therapist to help you work through your feelings.

Consider alternatives to court

Arriving at a fair child custody agreement can be accomplished without the court’s direct involvement. 

  • Many spouses can agree on custody, visitation, and support on their own and then submit the agreement to the court for approval.
  • Some parents involve a mediator to ensure the best interests of the child or children remain the highest priority. 
  • Others use a collaborative law process that includes a team of divorce attorneys, mediators, and counselors to arrive at an agreement.

Prepare to compromise

You’re more likely to get most of what you want without making things more difficult for your children.

  • Go into child custody discussions with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. 
  • Evaluate what points you’re willing to accept and remain flexible when it comes to scheduling. 

Keep lines of communication open

Although the divorce will end your marriage, you and your spouse will still need to maintain open communication to care for your child or children.

  • If you can’t comfortably speak with your ex-spouse in person or by phone, use e-mail and text messages to communicate with each other.  Not only will this ease transitions for your children, but it will also avoid turning your children into messengers between parents.

It’s a difficult time for everyone, especially your children. A complicated custody battle only makes it more so.  Think of your child or children and follow these four steps outlined above to get the best possible outcome for everyone.

Sauls Law Group understands the challenges divorcing parents face when dealing with child custody issues. Our experienced divorce attorneys stand ready to assist you. Contact us today at (770) 212-9168 for a consultation.