Your marriage came to an end for obvious reasons. Lack of communication and lack of intimacy. Plenty of secrets leading to plenty of distrust. Then it all exploded into a high-conflict, high-drama divorce witnessed firsthand by your children, caught in the middle of a nasty child custody battle.
You seem to be faced with an unworkable situation regarding child custody. However, you are going to have to make it work post-marriage if you want your children to lead something as close to a normal life as possible, considering the nasty split.
Protect the children, ignore personal attacks
You find yourself in the middle of a high-conflict child custody battle. Now, you must find an agreement. It will not be easy, and it cannot be helped that the divorce has spilled into the rest of your life.
Protecting your children, yourself and your dignity are among the matters at the top of your list. Here are some guiding points that may help you adjust and pivot if necessary when dealing with a high-conflict child custody situation:
- Most importantly, protect your children: Divorce is a traumatic time for everyone, but especially the children. Do not say anything critical about their other parent in front of the children. Focus on children’s feelings and worries. This represents a time for understanding, not hurt and neglect.
- Protecting yourself is essential, too: In setting boundaries with your former spouse, you may gain some sense of civility. Avoid being alone with your spouse, and make sure those meetings occur in public settings. You do not want a situation to spin out of control, subjecting yourself to additional harassment. Remember, your children need you.
- Stand firmly on moral high ground: By staying in control of your own behavior, you gain an advantage over an ex-spouse bent on revenge. Deflect any heated discussions and ignore personal attacks. Keep your eye steadily focused on your children.
- Find an understanding and knowledgeable attorney: A solid legal advocate with experience in child custody cases guides you at every step. An attorney will help you with a parenting plan as well as be ready at a moment’s notice if a restraining order against your ex-spouse is necessary.
Divorce can linger over your life for a long time, especially when faced with a hostile and uncooperative ex-spouse. Despite this marital minefield, it remains your priority to focus on your children, make sure they adjust as best as they can and determine a child custody agreement that benefits everyone.