One of the most emotional parts of getting divorced is the process of negotiating child custody. Even though you may feel strongly about your decision to leave your partner, sharing children can create the need for an ongoing relationship.
You know what you want your children to have and experience, but you will also need to have the flexibility to negotiate an arrangement that works for everyone. Knowing how the courts view the best interests of your children may give you more confidence as you prepare for this part of your divorce.
Your children’s needs
Your children’s needs may vary depending on their age and their understanding of divorce. The individual relationships they have with you and your partner may also influence their emotional and physical needs. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, when determining child custody decisions, courts may assess the following:
- Your ability to provide emotional support
- Your relationship with each of your children
- Your ability to provide shelter
Your parenting abilities
Even though you and your partner may have experienced irreconcilable differences, each other’s parenting skills may have never come into question. As you prepare to discuss child custody, keep in mind that the courts will only consider past mistakes when making decisions if those shortcomings resulted in harm or danger to your children.
Doing your best to put your differences aside and choosing to work together to care for your children can provide instrumental support for them and relief for you. Your ability to behave amicably with your former partner will help your children see the unconditional love you have for them.