If there is palpable tension between you and your ex as you work through your divorce issues, you probably expect your custody arrangements to be difficult as well. The fate of your children may be the most delicate and important matter to resolve during your breakup, and you may be concerned about whether you will end up with a fair amount of time with your children when it is all said and done.
Ideally, parents going through a divorce can work out their own custody plan that fits their lifestyle and provides for the best interests of the children. If this is not likely to happen with you and your ex, your custody decision will probably end up in the hands of a West Virginia family court. You will want to put your best foot forward to demonstrate your commitment to the well-being of your children.
Making a good impression
During the time between the decision to divorce and the final signatures on the paper, you may be living with court ordered custody arrangements that are less than ideal. Unfortunately, your compliance with these orders may play a big role in the court’s decisions for your final custody plan. Therefore, it is in your best interests to make the most of the time you have to prove to the court that your children benefit from their time with you, including:
- Sticking to the schedule by picking up and dropping off on time and avoiding rescheduling
- Speaking positively to the children about the other parent and resisting the urge to share too much personal information
- Obeying any requests the court makes, such as going to counseling or attending parenting classes
- Making the most of your time with the children, including doing fun things together but also helping with homework and teaching them responsibility
- Making smart choices, including avoiding alcohol and drugs and staying away from questionable people and places
- Cooperating with your ex and doing your best to work through disputes amicably
You may have a demanding job or a long commute, but if obtaining a fair custody arrangement is your goal, you should expect to make your custody concerns a priority. Additionally, you would be wise to take the time to learn as much as you can about West Virginia’s custody laws so you will know your rights and what to expect from each phase of the process.