Divorce often gets messy, especially when the couple involved shares minor children. The custody of children often becomes the most hotly contested issue in a divorce, as both parents desperately want to remain part of their children’s lives.
Worries about the loss of custody or about parental interference by their ex can push people into taking aggressive approaches toward custody in Indiana divorce proceedings. However, for most couples, regardless of how hard they push, shared custody is going to be the end result of their divorce.
Regardless of gender, both parents have the right to a continued role in the lives of their children, as well as responsibilities to the children that they helped bring into this world.
The Indiana family courts want to do what’s best for the kids
The courts have specific guidelines that they have to follow when making decisions about custody in a divorce. The most important principle in custody determinations will be the best interests of the children involved, which the courts will have to determine based on your family circumstances.
Those best interests usually include getting to have a relationship with both parents after the divorce. There are circumstances where the best interests of the children might require the limitations of one parent’s access or parenting time, particularly in situations involving addiction or abuse. In most other scenarios, the courts will want to see parents who are willing to work with one another because it is what will be best for the kids.
Trying to make your ex look like the bad guy could backfire
Putting your kids first means setting aside your anger and resentment at your ex to try to focus on cooperative co-parenting. If you choose to dig in your heels and try to fight for sole custody despite your ex being a decent parent, that could color the way that the court views you. They may worry that you could engage in parental alienation, such as belittling your ex to the children or denying their parenting time.
In other words, if you are too aggressively contentious without reason, the courts may use that approach to justify reducing your parenting time/authority and giving more to your ex. Accepting the reality of shared parenting early in the divorce can help you adjust your expectations and approach in a manner that will maximize your success.