When you decided to divorce, it didn’t mean you were abdicating your obligations or responsibilities as a parent. Like all good fathers, you love your children and want what’s best for them. As one of many Louisiana dads who know ahead of time that they’re going to be in for a custody fight, you might feel worried or anxious about the ultimate outcome of your situation.
If you keep a few things in mind while navigating the child custody system, you may be able to keep stress to a minimum. There’s definitely no guarantee that a problem will never arise, however, which is why it pays to know where to seek support, especially if you and your ex disagree about a particular matter.
If you’re paying child support
If a Louisiana judge has ordered you to pay child support, you are legally bound to adhere to the terms of the order. Even if you later decided to sue for sole custody of your kids, unless and until a judge grants that, you must continue to make child support payments on time.
The court understands that life has a way of throwing curve balls. Regarding child support, this means that, if unforeseen circumstances have caused you to be unable to keep up with payments, you may petition the court for modification.
If you’re a non-custodial parent
It can take an adjustment when you first search for a new normal after divorce. Concerning your parent/child relationships, you may have to get creative to keep the bonds between you strong and to stay closely connected, especially on non-visit days.
Thanks to advanced technology, it is easy and convenient to keep in touch with loved ones. You and your children can text each other or use real-time video chat apps to see each other even when you’re not together in person.
Respect goes a long way
If you’re seeking custody, the judge overseeing your case will make the ultimate decision as to whether it’s in your children’s best interests. Before, during and following proceedings, it’s always best to treat your co-parent with respect. It lets your children know that you understand there are still two parents involved in their lives.
It also sends the message that you respect your co-parent’s position and are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed. On the contrary, if you’re always downing your co-parent or exposing your kids to negativity about your ex, it can easily backfire, not only causing stress between adults but also confusing children about where their loyalties should lie.
Address problems swiftly and fairly
If a particular issue is lingering, it’s best to try to find a fair and agreeable solution as quickly as you can. The longer you’re at odds with your co-parent, the more difficult it is for everyone to adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle. Louisiana parents who feel ill-equipped to handle co-parenting problems on their own often turn to experienced family law attorneys for support.