Many New Jersey households include family members who don’t get along. In fact, some spouses or parents and older children, or even siblings, can develop contentious relationships, which has a negative impact on the rest of the family. This is especially true in a divorce where spouses disagree on child custody issues. There are several helpful relationship tips that can come in handy when tensions arise during proceedings.
Interact on neutral ground as much as possible
Certain words, locations or other issues might trigger unrest between spouses who are preparing for child custody proceedings. Perhaps a certain location was the scene of a terrible argument during marriage or one spouse has a habit of criticizing the other’s parenting skills. As parents navigate the process to finalize a custody agreement (and even beyond that), they can avoid contention by choosing to meet on neutral ground whenever they must discuss a child-related issue.
Try to understand the other person’s perspective
Lingering frustration, anger or sadness over past marital problems can sometimes impede parents’ ability to peacefully negotiate child custody issues. In such cases, it is helpful to try to have empathy for the other person’s feelings and opinions. While a pair of parents may no longer wish to be married, it is helpful for everyone involved if each parent tries to show empathy to the other out of respect for his or her role in the children’s lives.
Always be intentional and well-prepared for discussions
There may be less likelihood for a confrontation if a concerned parent has formulated a list of goals for each child custody discussion. Being intentional and well-prepared leaves less room for confusion or for one parent to provoke the other into an argument. It is not uncommon for parents to disagree about family-related issues in a divorce; however, a parent need not feel like he or she has to go it alone if a particularly problematic issue arises. If the problem is a legal matter, a concerned New Jersey parent can seek support from an experienced family law attorney.