I’ve seen it happen multiple times. A parent is 6 months into a divorce proceeding and is ready to give up and give in. “Let her have what she wants. I’m fine with less custody.” Right now, you may be. In a year, you’ll probably want more. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t just give in to a custody demand.
1. It’s Very Hard to Change Custody After A Divorce is Finalized.
Right now, you’re somewhere in the proceedings to finalize a custody or divorce. You’ve likely spent a lot of time, emotions and money on this matter and you’re ready to give up and give in. What seemed like a terrible “no way” kind of offer from your spouse is now looking like an easy road out.
But if you say yes to that minimum parent time custody agreement, or yes to that sole legal custody demand, you’re probably going to regret it in a year. And when you do regret it, you’re going to want to change it. Only you’re going to need a good reason for changing it, some kind of substantial change in circumstances. And it’s going to cost you more money, either through a custody evaluation or through a trial or both.
2. You’ve Come So Far Already
Unless you’ve been sitting around doing nothing, you’ve likely gone to temporary orders already or are approaching them. You may have already attempted mediation without success. You’ve invested these resources, and to give in now would be a waste of all that time and money.
Think about it, you’ve presumably spent your resources up to this point to actually win something. What good will those resources have accomplished if you just give in to your spouse’s demands? Hold on and keep your eye on the prize. Trust me when I say that the parent time you’re hoping for is definitely worth it in the long run.
3. Your Children Are Worth the Sacrifice
If you’re considering giving up possible parent time with your children simply to get over the stress of this entire ordeal, you’re not alone. Many people waffle on the same question. I haven’t met a person who hasn’t regretted their custody decisions when they failed to pursue more parent time. This is because they have grown frustrated at the lack of time they have with their child, or the lack of a relationship.
Every parent I’ve worked with has found value in raising their children and being a part of their lives. You may not care now, but you’ll care later. The time and money you’re spending now could lead to a better tomorrow.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t times where it’s wise to throw in the towel. I’ve written on that subject before and will likely do so in the future. Don’t give in on minimum or less than minimum time though. You’re not going to get worse than that at trial, and will likely get more.
If you’re doing this on your own, make sure you do your homework. If not, make sure you have a good support system in place and an attorney at your side that you trust.
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