Taking care of your children is one of the primary responsibilities of a parent. During a divorce, you are probably even more concerned about what that will mean for your kids.
Depending on the circumstances, you may even wonder whether you will lose custody of your kids entirely.
Losing custody of your children can be a harrowing and emotional experience. As a parent, it’s likely the last thing you want. If you want to maintain custody of your kids after the divorce – whether through shared or sole custody – you should consider the following:
- Maintain a civil relationship with your ex. You and your ex may get along well despite the divorce, but in case you don’t – pretend. Show that you can work along with your spouse and keep up an open line of communication as it proves you understand that your ex will always be a part of your child’s life.
- Don’t talk badly about your ex with your kids. As said, your ex will always be a part of your child’s life. Don’t air your grievances about your ex in front of your kids as your negative attitude can be used against you in custody cases.
- Maintain control of your emotions. While it’s understandable that divorce is an emotional process, you shouldn’t let your emotions get the better of you. When you meet with a judge, your ex, or your child’s teachers, keep your cool and use your best judgment.
- Be an active parent. If you aren’t involved in your child’s life, you may have a hard time convincing a judge that you deserve to have custody. The more you show you care – by showing up to school activities, parent/teacher conferences, or other similar events – the more you prove that you deserve to be a part of your child’s life.
- Limit alcohol or drug consumption. Parents who abuse alcohol or drugs will likely have a difficult time getting custody. If you engage in these activities, even casually, it’s ideal to limit your intake or quit entirely. Depending on how much you may use these substances, you may also want to consider seeking professional treatment.
There are many reasons that can cause you to lose custody. But if you take precautions and prepare yourself for the custody process, and work with an experienced divorce attorney, you may not have to face the pain of losing your children.
Minnesota law offers legal and physical custody options, as well as joint legal custody and joint physical custody. If you want to continue to be a part of your child’s life, you should be willing to work with your ex-spouse to determine the best option for you and your kids.