For most parents going through a divorce, custody issues are the primary concern. However, it’s important to realize that the courts have one goal: to ensure that the post-divorce custody agreement is in the best interests of the child. Whenever possible, the courts want to see both parents continue to be involved in a child’s life after a divorce. However, this doesn’t always sit well with parents, as reflected in the following divorce and custody questions:
- The way I see it, my ex abandoned our kids the moment he cheated on me. Won’t the courts see it this way, too? The courts are much more concerned about his relationship with the children than about your marital relationship. If he was involved in their lives before the divorce, then it’s reasonable to expect that the courts will support his involvement after the divorce as well – through shared custody or liberal visitation rights.
- My ex-wife is now living with another woman, and I don’t want our children to be around them. Won’t the courts see that this could be harmful? First, remember that the courts may not share your opinions about the impact of same-sex relationships on children. Second, from the court’s perspective, denying your children an ongoing relationship with either parent could be far more harmful than anything they may be exposed to through contact with your ex-wife.
- Can’t my ex just relinquish his child custody rights? Generally speaking, no. Even if he never exercises his child custody rights, the courts would rather have the option of later holding him accountable for paying child support in the event that you or your child require financial assistance.
- We have a temporary child custody agreement, but my ex keeps pressuring me for more visitation time. However, I feel that our kids need to get used to the schedule we have before we introduce changes. What should I do? Discuss the situation with your ex and establish some ground rules for changing the schedule. For example, requests for changes need to be presented with at least 24 hours notice, and requests need to go through you first, before they are suggested to the kids.