Mindfulness in Child Custody?

Meditation-Coach-300x200Staying together for the kids is often not the choice people make in an unhappy marriage or relationship. For many, the best thing that can be done for both yourself and your little ones, is find a way to move on.  For others it might be continuing to work on the relationship. When the relationship with your children’s other parent doesn’t work, you need to think about how you can move forward without causing excessive discomfort for you and your child.

One common question that you may need to think about is whether it’s better to have the child living equally with you and another child’s parent. Another option could be to limit the amount of time that your child has with the other parent if the other parent might not be suitable for your child. Some parents even need to think about fighting the requests of other parents and making sure that they get adequate parenting time out of the new agreement.  What is the right choice?  What is the best process to use to get agreements or to make court orders?

Addressing Different Perspectives in Child Custody Litigation

Everyone has a different perspective and unique goals with these cases. In one of my first days at law school, my professor said something to our class. This point has stuck with me for over 26 years, and it’s something that resonates more than ever today. He was quoting a legal scholar.  He said that his wish was that he was able to put on everyone else’s glasses and see the world through their eyes.  He meant that true wisdom could come from seeing the world through all perspectives.

So, what does this have to do with what I should do in my child custody and parenting time case?

Usually, as a family attorney, I recognize a variety of perspectives for child custody and parenting time cases. In most situations, there’s the perspective of the father, the mother, and the children to consider.  There is a likely a myriad of other perspectives on the case from the rest of the world too. A fourth relevant perspective is often an important one when it comes to making decisions about your children – that’s the perspective of the judge.

The children in any case have their own wants and needs, and they’re keen for those things to be addressed by the other people in the case. At the same time, the father and mother have their own desires that they want to pursue. In some cases, this leads to significant anger between parents with conflicting opinions. However, it can be difficult to determine whether being aggressive, compassionate, or mix somewhere in between towards the other parent is the best option in these cases.

Looking at the Best Interests of the Child

In a family law case, it’s common for everyone to have their own best interests in mind. However, it can be a good strategy to make sure that your best interests line up with the needs and best interests of your children. Putting your own agenda aside and thinking about the needs of your children is one possible way to approach things and make the next right move.  It is often key if you want to get the support of the judge. The judges in family law case are supposed to put the best interests of the children first when making decisions.

Convincing someone that you have your child’s best interests in mind can be complicated. Sometimes, it’s appropriate to be aggressive towards the other parent. For instance, if the other parent is damaging the children and perhaps called Child Protective service with a false complaint against the first parent, this might generate aggression.  But is it the right approach in your case?  It might be, but, on the other hand, there are also times when family law cases demand a lot of compassion from both sides. Showing that you’re able to see things from another perspective is often a good idea in these cases too.

With so many different perspectives to consider, which approach is right? One way to figure this out could be to adopt the perspective of the children and make sure that your goals match their needs. Convincing the judge that your requests and needs are in line with the best interests of the children and putting your own personal agenda aside could be the way to make the right choice.

Making the Right Choice

According to the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, there is only one true right action.  He says that you will know you made the right choice when whatever you think is the right move brings you a sense of peacefulness. If you get peace from your decision, you know its coming from the right place in this philosphy. Another way to look at this is that if your decisions make you uneasy, this is a sign that they may not be coming from the right place.

Cases vary according to the background and surrounding factors. In some situations, the other side will need to be kept away from the children for a period of time. In other cases, both parties might need some psychological support and guidance.  It could be that equal time with both parents is the right arrangement. Sometimes, it’s best to begin a case with a mediation where a third party can help to guide you through the decisions you have to make. This can allow for a sense of connection between two people pursuing the same goal – the happiness and well being of the child.

If you need help making the right choice and making sense of your perspective for your child custody or visitation case, contact me today. You can get in touch through our online contact form or over the phone to discuss your case with a free initial consultation.  Up to the first thirty minutes are free.  For couples, however, that want to use me as their mediator, the initial consultation is done with both parents together to help ensure everyone is comfortable with my neutrality.  Let us know how we might be able to help you.  It would be our pleasure to do our best to assist.

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