Navigating a child custody battle can be tricky. With feelings and emotions running hot, it can be a challenge to know who to trust and how to manage frustrations. The good news is that there are professionals like custody evaluators, family law experts, family therapists, and more who can help you to get through this difficult time. If you’re struggling with a tough child custody case, worried about child support, or at odds over legal custody or visit schedules, read on for resources that could help.
Trust the experts
Many people believe that assigning custody of a child comes down to how much money a parent makes or how much time they have to raise a child. Some people believe that a child is more likely to be placed under the legal custody of the mother. The truth is that every child custody case is different.
Most child custody cases involve an evaluation by a non-biased party who works to determine the custody arrangement in the best interest of the child. This person might serve a dual role as a forensic child psychiatrist, guardian, court-appointed child advocate, or another title. It’s important to meet with this expert, be honest with them, and trust their judgment and extensive experience when it comes to placement for your child.
While it could be difficult to trust an expert to know what’s best for your child, it’s okay to ask for second opinions about your evaluator’s competence, and more. If you have concerns, the first person to speak with should be your lawyer.
Hire a qualified family law attorney
Regardless of whether you’re seeking sole custody or visitation rights, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer who can help you navigate the child custody case process. Finding the right child custody attorney can be as easy as a Google search for an attorney in your area. For example, if you are from New Orleans, a search for “New Orleans child custody attorney” would take you to listings of lawyers who can help you with the legal issues surrounding divorce and child custody disputes. Knowing you have someone in your corner to advocate for you, help you through a child custody agreement, and give you expert legal advice could be a great way to give yourself peace of mind.
Get extra mental health support for you and your child
In the end, most parents agree that their child’s best interest is the most important thing in a child custody dispute. No matter how messy things are between you and your estranged former spouse or partner, it’s often in the best interest of the child that you get help from a psychologist. For many families, this means meeting with a family therapist who can help give parents skills to co-parent effectively and with compassion without hurting the child. For other families, individual therapy for the child is another great option.
Even if you don’t decide to reach out to a psychologist for extra help, it’s important to have a team of people who support you. Take the time to reach out to friends and family as you navigate the ups and downs of a child custody battle. If you don’t have people in your life who support you now, consider signing up for an online support group. In surrounding yourself with other people in your shoes, you’ll feel less alone and may pick up great tips along the way.
Whether you decide to see a psychologist on your own or with your child, look for a therapist with years of experience in family therapy, grief, or loss. Working on your feelings away from the legal system will help you to make clear-headed decisions around the custody of your child and your child’s best interests.