When parents get divorced or split up, there are bound to be problems. Child custody issues can get particularly ugly. Here are some common child custody problems faced by parents and their children alike after divorce.

Child Custody Attorney1. Using the Children As Pawns: As is too often the case, parents use their children as pawns during the divorce process and well after the split is finalized. Ulterior motives such as pain, anger, and greed can cloud a parent’s good judgment. Remember, you should NEVER belittle or speak ill of your co-parent to your children. This can only hurt you, and your children. If the court determines you are trying to alienate your children from their co-parent, you may lose parenting time.

2. Accepting the Reality of the Situation: Each parent should have equal parenting time of their children—assuming both parents are legally fit to do so. This is often the hardest concept for a parent to grasp. Unless one parent is unable or unwilling to parent 50% of the time, the children should have equal access to both of their parents. Instead of focusing on the negative, you should focus on the fact that your children will have the love and support of both parents and they will benefit from both of you.

3. Logistics: Oftentimes, a parenting plan that seems to work in theory does not work well in real life. Shuttling the kids back and forth between two different homes, school, and activities can lead to exhaustion and tears on everyone’s parts. If a parenting plan and schedule is not working out, both parents should work together—in good faith—to modify the schedule accordingly.

However you work the schedule, you should understand that what worked for you and the children when they were toddlers will likely not work the same as they grow into pre-teens and teenagers.

4. Meeting and Living with a New Partner: When parents split up, they are both likely to eventually find a new partner. It is important for your children (and YOU) to accept their new reality. It is crucial that you do not overreact to the news and remember that your children are your first priority.

5. One Parent is Unfit to Parent Your Children: Remember, just because you do not like your co-parent or his or her new partner does not make them unfit. Unfortunately, there are times when your co-parent truly is unfit to parent the children. These issues typically involve:

    1. Drugs
    2. Alcohol
    3. Physical abuse
    4. Other forms of substance abuse

If you suspect this is the case, then you should talk with your attorney or child services right away. You do not want to throw around baseless accusations, but you do want to keep your children safe. You will have a steep burden of proof to show your co-parent is unfit to parent the children. Therefore you should talk with someone who can guide you in this regard.

Speak with a knowledgeable Family Law Attorney

An experienced family law attorney can be a great resource for issues that arise when it comes to child custody matters. They know the law, and they will be able to provide advice and possibly even resolutions to child custody concerns. Your attorney may even be able to help you deal with your co-parent, if communication is contentious. Don’t hesitate to contact a family law attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.

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