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Preparing for a custody battle

Parents facing the prospect of a custody (or parenting time) dispute in Franklin County family courts may look at it with fear and trepidation. They may be uncomfortable with the notion of someone who knows nothing about them evaluating their parenting skills and a judge deciding how much (if any) time they may spend with their children. 

Others may be perfectly comfortable with a battle over custody. They are completely secure in their relationship with the child and believe (realistically or not) that they are best suited to have the child with them. 

Whatever your temperment may be, it is important to understand the potential pitfalls that can arise and how to avoid them. 

Change your mindset - This might seem obvious, but it is critical to look at children as people, and not possessions. Constantly referring to children as "my son" or "my daughter" is unhealthy and could undermine your case. It suggests that the custody dispute is more about power rather the child's well-being.

Don't get caught up in the other parent's intentions - It is normal for a parent who was absent during the marriage to suddenly become interested in spending time with the children. It may be to quickly set a precedent that  he or she is entitled to parenting time or simply to needle you with the prospect of winning custody. Regardless, it is not helpful to become obsessed with their true intentions. You can only focus on being a good parent.

Consider alternatives -  Child custody litigation is notoriously expensive, and parents may not get what they receive by going to court. As such, there's no problem with thinking about mediation or collaborative divorce to reach a common ground.

Source:, How to make your divorce cheaper, May 16, 2013

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