Child custody battles are intense. The waiting is the worst part! As a family law attorney in North Carolina, I know that divorce and child custody cases are some of the most nerve-wracking situations. Your parents, in-laws, other relatives, and even folks you barely know are ready to chime in with useless stories or outdated information.
It's enough to make a dad cry. Or punch a hole in the drywall.
Your children, being the information-sponges they are, observe all these emotions and outbursts happening on both sides of the custody fence. They start getting snippy with their friends or acting out at school. And a phone call from your child's principal tastes like onion-flavored icing on an awful cake.
Then, one day sooner than you think, it's finally over. Rules are set in place and scheduling agreements made. Parents can take a deep breath and finally enjoy themselves. Dads should know there will be a few wobbly bits in the beginning. Still, eventually you'll love the freedom of co-parenting.
Here, I'll talk about the concerns you might be having if you're facing a child custody battle, and show you that there is light at the end of this tunnel.
A Co-Parenting Schedule as Unique as Your Family
A few decades ago, custody agreements usually had children spending the week with Mom and staying with Dad every other weekend. That's all changed!
Modern family courts understand that every family is one-of-a-kind.
They recognize that families don't always equal one "mom" and one "dad" and that education and employment opportunities don't always come in a traditional "9 to 5" setting.
I'm here to help you get through scheduling woes. I've been doing this for a long time, and I have creative solutions for custody and visitation.
As I've mentioned, custody schedules are different now. Consider these ideas, all of them used in modern custody courts:
A parent has the children two weeks on, two weeks off
Parents swap custody every five days, or even three days
The traditional workweek with parent A and weekends with parent B
Significant periods with one parent, but summers and holidays with the other
The point I'm making is that you don't need to worry about your future custody schedule getting in the way of your lifestyle.
Once the Schedule is Set — Enjoy Your Time
No matter what schedule we finally set, you'll enjoy peaceful, personal time without the kids sometimes. Obviously, getting away from the children isn't your goal. You're not battling for custody of your children because you want to escape the responsibility. But let's be honest, you can get more done when you have time away from the kids.
Co-parenting is peaceful. It allows both sides to be involved with the children and also to regroup! At the beginning of the arrangement, there are sure to be some hurdles. One parent might forget the new schedule until it becomes habit, the other parent might get stuck at an airport out of town, for instance.
These hiccups will smooth out over time.
You might even find that you don't dislike your ex as much as you thought, once the custody case is complete.
Occasionally, I'll be in court against a bad apple of an ex. You know, the kind who seems bent on screwing things up for everyone else, all the time. If you've got an ex like this, know the custody paperwork and court orders tend to take the wind out of their sails. They must obey court orders, or else they risk jail time for being in contempt of court. It can become a very grounding experience for folks like that.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog. I sure enjoyed writing it. Remember, no matter how upset you are about your child custody case, you'll eventually get past the finish line. And, you'll enjoy the view from there a lot more.
If you have a question I didn't address here or if you'd like to learn more about family law, divorce, child custody and child support cases in Charlotte and Mint Hill, NC, contact us.