Two of the issues that prolong the average divorce are an inability to agree on property division and disputes over child custody. Even after a divorce itself has been granted, a couple may continue arguing over custody for months or years. Often, custody disagreements turn into expensive points of contention because each parent wants to spend as much time as possible with the children. Unfortunately, some parents become so fixated on obtaining custody that they do not stop to consider if they are making the right choice for themselves and their children. Before making custody demands, there are a few things that you should consider.
When it comes to child custody and litigation, what can you actually afford? Not only is being a single parent expensive, the costs associated with custody and visitation-related litigation can become astronomical. Before you start issuing ultimatums and making demands that you know your former partner will not agree with, take a moment to determine what you can actually afford. Remember, even if you are awarded custody and financial support, it is possible that your ex will default on payments, leaving you to struggle financially as a single parent until the support order is enforced.
If you and your partner always shared the task of child care, do you have a way to take care of your child on your own? Once you are awarded custody, it is possible that your former spouse and his or her family or friends who helped you with child care before are not going to help you going forward. You must be prepared to make arrangements for child care and if you are a person who works nights or is on-call, finding stable child care could become difficult. Also remember that the cost of child care in the United States has climbed steadily over the last few years, creating an additional burden for newly single parents.
The Needs of Your Child
Never forget that your desires and the needs of your child may not always coincide. There are times when your child would most benefit from living primarily with the other parent, especially if your income or housing situation is unstable. Making your custody demands about yourself instead of what is best for your child may backfire, especially if your children are old enough to tell the court which parent they want to live with. The court will always make the choice that is in the best interest of the children and you should attempt to do the same.
Get a Second Opinion
Before making any custody demands, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion from an expert. A family law attorney who understands what factors can influence child custody is often able to help you make the right choice. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to work with you during this difficult time to ensure that the choices you make are right for your unique situation. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule an initial consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia locations.