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Child Custody Following a Divorce or Separation

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As a mom, you definitely want your child or children to grow up in a healthy environment. You’d probably do anything that you could to enable that to happen. However, you want to feel fulfilled and content as well.

If you marry someone or cohabitate with them, and both of you are acting as a child’s parents, then it can be very tough on that child if the two of you split up. At the same time, if you know the marriage or relationship is over, it’s usually better for you two to make a clean break. Staying together for the children will probably make everyone involved miserable if the two of you can’t stop fighting.

Let’s take a moment and talk about child custody following a separation or a divorce. Is it better to fight for sole custody or allow the other parent to spend equal time with the child?

What Kind of a Parent is the Other Adult in this Relationship?

Let’s say that you and your spouse are divorcing, and you have one child together. You decide that you want to fight for sole custody. As the mother, in many states, the odds are going to be on your side.

Look at Arizona, for instance. There, back in 2007, judges granted joint parental custody just 15% of the time. That means the rest of the time, the judge granted the mother sole custody like she wanted.

The odds are generally in your favor if you want to go this route, but should you do it? You must ask yourself what kind of a parent your former spouse is. Do they love the child, and does the child love them?

What is Their Situation Going to Be?

You’ll also need to ponder what your former spouse’s living situation is going to be. Are they going to have plenty of money to get a good living space for themselves and the child, or were you the primary breadwinner? Does your ex have adequate parenting skills to help raise a child when you’re not around or were you doing the lion’s share of the work?

You also need to mull over any other factor that is going to negatively impact the child. Does your ex have a drinking problem? Are they likely to have nutritious food in the house for your child, and are they going to be able to prepare meals for them?

You have seen how your ex is with your child. If you feel like they are a good parent, you should probably at least consider allowing joint custody to happen.

How Does the Child Feel About Your Ex?

You should think about how your child and your ex feel about each other as well. If they love each other very much, you have to consider that. Studies have shown that kids get along the best after a divorce if they spend equal time with both parents.

This is assuming, though, that your ex is a responsible person and at least a passable parent. If the child loves them, but you know that your ex is not going to provide a child-friendly environment, you have to decide for the child. Love is not enough in these instances if you know that your ex will not put the child’s needs over their own.

You Must Put Personal Feelings Aside

One final factor is that you must put your hurt feelings aside as you try to determine how best to proceed. You might have ample reason to dislike or even hate your ex. Maybe the breakup or divorce was very acrimonious.

You have to try not to let your feelings get in the way of your unclouded judgment, though. Just because you and your ex no longer get along, that does not necessarily mean they are a bad parent.

If you know that they will give your child a good, stable living space, but the only reason you want to keep the child away from them is that you’re mad at your ex, that’s selfish. You must do the best you possibly can to separate your feelings from the equation and look at it fairly and logically.

This isn’t going to be easy for you, your ex, and your child or children. You must all take some time to adjust, but do everything you can to make things as easy as possible for your progeny. After all, this is not their fault.

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