Going through divorce can be a multifaceted, dynamic experience. What if, while you’re going through a divorce, your kids have trouble? What if your son gets into a DUI accident or your daughter starts hanging out with “bad kids” at her school? What if one of your kids gets sick or endures a mental health crisis?
Obviously, as parental figure, you have moral and legal obligations to care for your kids. But how do you balance your own need to manage your divorce with your kids’ needs? And, what if your ex-spouse has very different ideas about how to handle the matter?
These questions speak to a concept known as “legal custody,” which is different from “physical custody.” When most people talk about custody, they’re really referring to physical custody – who gets to see the kids, when, how, and under what circumstances.
“Legal custody” concerns who gets to make decisions about the welfare, education, and moral upbringing of the children. Typically, the courts divide legal custody between the parents, except under very unusual circumstances.
Follow these few guidelines to minimize stress and confusion:
- Be compassionate to yourself and to your children;
- Be present, no matter where you are or what’s going on. In other words, give your full attention to whatever task is at hand. When you’re with your kids, be with them 100%. There will be time to fuss over the divorce later. Listen, and be empathetic with your children;
- When you are focusing on your divorce, be present to that project with 100% of your attention.
- Don’t wait too long to retain a qualified, skilled legal team.
Talk to attorney Scott Toussaint and his team today to understand your options and potential strategies in your divorce or child custody case.