If you and your children’s other parent divorce or split up, your initial instinct may be to fight for every inch of custody privileges you can. However, this may not be the best thing for you or your children in the long run. Once the survival instincts fade and the crisis levels out, many parents find that evenly sharing parenting duties and privileges ultimately creates a healthier, more well-rounded life for everyone in the family.
Realistically, in the absence of abusive behavior, many children grow to appreciate different parenting style and can sometimes have healthier relationships with each parent separately because both parents have room to be their best selves outside of difficult a relationship.
Parents in the middle of a custody dispute often feel like every moment that they spend away from their children is painful and difficult. However, after some time sharing parenting privileges more or less evenly, those same parents regularly come to appreciate the freedom that shared parenting affords them.
When you’re in the middle of the battle, it is difficult to see outside of the fight directly in front of you. This is not your fault. It’s simply human nature. However, unless you genuinely fear for the safety of your children around their other parent, working toward fair compromises in a custody agreement can be just as life-giving to you as it is to the children at the heart of the conflict.
Certainly, this does not apply to everyone, but it applies to more parents than you might think. If you believe there’s a possibility that the emotional strain of a protracted custody conflict is clouding your judgment, consider consulting with an experienced family attorney. An attorney with years worth of understanding about the full scope of custody over the course of a child’s life can help you create truly fair custody arrangements and ensure that your children’s best interests truly remain at the heart of the negotiations.
Source: Slate, “Confessions of a Part-Time Mom,” Lara Bazelon, accessed July 28, 2017