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Tips for working through a child custody battle

In an ideal world, child custody should never be a battle at all. It should be two people working together to figure out how they can both stay involved with their children and share the responsibility of raising them.

Of course, this is not an ideal world, and things do not always go that smoothly. If you think your situation could get complicated, here are some tips to help you work through it:

  • Think honestly about what you can really do. For instance, do you really want to fight for sole custody if you have a job and many other obligations, making it easier for you to share custody?
  • Always respect your ex. You don't have to be in love, but you need to be civil. Focus on working with one another, not working against one another.
  • Stay involved with the kids. Work toward building up strong relationships. Go to their events at school or their sporting events. Put time and energy into being the best parent you can be whenever you're with them.
  • Craft a real custody plan that addresses significant questions. Where will the children sleep? When will you do the exchange? How can you make everything easy for them? How are you going to divide the costs?
  • Accept advice. Talk to people who have been through this. While every situation is unique, you can learn from their experiences and make better choices as a result.

This process can be difficult, and it can be complex. You must know what rights you have and how to protect them so that you find an acceptable child custody solution.

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