Protecting Your Child During a Custody Dispute
Contested child custody cases can be difficult for parents and children alike. Things like having a guardian ad litem come in and interview your children or having a judge evaluate how involved in your child’s life you are can be immensely stressful. However, some of the difficult processes your family will go through are essential to helping the court make the best decisions. Remember that every decision the judge makes must be based on what is in the best interests of the child in question. While the judge strives to determine what type of parenting time calendar and allocation of parental responsibilities would be best for your child, there are steps you as a parent can take to protect your child’s well-being during the process. It is important to follow your Illinois family law attorney’s advice and keep them advised of your co-parenting strategy during an active custody dispute.
Preparing Children Without Coaching
A common issue in contested child custody cases is coaching. “Coaching” refers to a parent teaching their child what to say to the judge and guardian ad litem. An unscrupulous parent might train their young children to say ugly things about the other parent or to complain of abuse that never happened. It is normally quite apparent to the trained eye of a GAL when a child is only repeating what they were told to say.
Preparing your child for these conversations is different. You can talk with your child about the questions they might be asked without suggesting a response. It can also help to explain the roles of your lawyers, the GAL, and the judge so the child feels that they understand what is happening.
Keeping Your Child Out of the Conflict
If things have reached the point where you are contesting child custody in court, you and your spouse are likely not getting along at all. While your child must be involved in some ways, such as by testifying in court if called, you can do a lot to shield your children from the worst of the fighting. Do not bring them to court unless they are required to be there. If you are having a heated phone conversation about your case, try to go to where they cannot hear you.
Likewise, do not make the other parent out to be the “bad guy” except in cases where they pose a genuine threat of harm to the child. If you need to vent about your spouse, do so to your adult friends and family members, not your child.
Contact a Wheaton, IL, Child Custody Attorney
Andrew Cores Family Law Group is committed to helping parents do what is best for their child during a custody dispute. Our caring DuPage County, IL, child custody lawyers will do all we can to protect your interests and your child’s interests. Contact us at 630-871-1002 to receive a complimentary consultation.