Deciding to separate from your spouse or discovering your spouse has decided to separate from you is decidedly an emotionally difficult time. Even if you have been prepared for the separation, it can be a very difficult transition. When you share children with your spouse, this is even more true. You will undoubtedly be concerned for your child’s ability to transition into the “new normal” of two households. A separation means that both you and your former partner will need to work together to share parenting time between two households. There are some steps you should take to protect your parenting time during this difficult time.
The first is to do your best to maintain a cool head and calm composure. If your spouse denies you parenting time, especially if the two of you previously agreed to a particular arrangement, it can be difficult to remain calm. However, getting angry will do nothing to convince your spouse to allow you to have parenting time. Moreover, a judge will not look favorably on a parent with an anger problem, or action that you may engage in while you’re angry. Assume everything you say and do will be brought to the judge’s attention eventually.
Second is to retain an attorney. An attorney will advise you as to the important evidence to gather in order to make sure you maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable parenting time schedule. Moreover, an attorney will file the proper paperwork on your behalf to make sure you get a temporary order as early as possible. If your spouse is denying you time with your children, the best way to protect your future parenting time with your children is to get an order for visitation as soon as possible. The longer you let that situation drag on, the harder it will be to restore an equal parenting schedule.
Finally, remain as involved with the child and his or her everyday activities as possible. Make sure you notify the teachers or daycare providers of the situation, and request that they keep both you and the other parent updated for conferences, recitals, and other school events. Make sure that you participate as much as possible in order to protect yourself against future claims that you are a disinterested parent. However, do not bad mouth the other parent teachers, etc. This is never productive in having a cordial co-parenting relationship and can alienate others.
If you are facing a child custody case, you need an attorney who is familiar with the ways to protect you and your future with your child. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 and we can talk about what we can do to help you. Please also check out our YouTube channel for other FAQs about divorce topics like this one.