Divorce is already a stressful and contentious process. Nothing creates more conflict between ex-spouses than fighting for custody of your beloved children. Here are a few of the most common causes of strife and discord between divorced couples when it comes to the kids.
Joint custody schedules
In an ideal world, the children would spend half of their time with each parent. In reality, perfectly splitting custody of the children is an incredibly difficult venture.
Joint custody requires high levels of cooperation between ex-spouses, since you will have to accommodate each other’s schedules. If one parent is late in picking up or dropping off the kids, or doesn’t allow the other parent to have the kids for prime vacation time, conflicts can arise.
Moving to a different state
There are many reasons why you might want to move to a different state after your divorce. Maybe you want to live closer to your family, or maybe you’ve found better job prospects there. No matter the reason, if you have sole custody of the children, you must first seek court approval before taking the kids to a different state.
If you have sole custody of the children, and you move away with them without permission, you run the risk of the court modifying or taking away your custody of the kids. Your ex-spouse could claim that your move interferes with their visitation rights, and the court could see that as sufficient justification for modifying the custody arrangement.
Joint legal custody and decision making
Just like the court can order sole or joint physical custody of the kids, they can also award joint or sole legal custody. Legal custody is the power to make parental decisions for the child, such as medical or educational decisions.
As you can imagine, conflict often arises when ex-spouses have joint legal custody of their children, and have different ideas as to how the child should be raised. Which religion to raise the child in, which school the child should attend and which medical procedures the child should undergo are all common topics that ex-spouses often fight bitterly over.
There’s no easy way to navigate the messy world of child custody disputes. But by knowing what to expect and what to watch out for, you can minimize the chances of conflict arising between you and your ex-spouse when it comes to the children.