Although many divorces are custody decisions are go smoothly, for some the uncertainty and court battles can go on and on.
If you are in the very unfortunate position of having a lengthy battle for access to your children and if you have very limited, if any, access to your children, there are a number of issues that you need to contend with – lengthy court cases are financially draining, the stress over a prolonged period can pose a real danger to your health, other relationships are likely to be damaged, your work and lifestyle can be affected, but – most importantly – the relationship that you have with your children can be severely damaged if you do not see them regularly.
Coping during a custody battle is incredibly difficult and if your ex is arguing that you are abusive or irresponsible, it can be very hard to keep cool and not start fulfilling the prophecy. It is vital that you have the best possible legal team and leave all the communication to them.
The sooner you realise that you are going to have problems, the better. But, often these things don’t happen suddenly, instead they happen gradually and you don’t realise how bad it is until it is too late.
A reliable family lawyer will help to ensure you have some form of contact with your children while the custody is being decided. They can gather evidence that will be accepted in court if your ex is denying you access at appointed times and can help you with the evidence you need to counteract any accusations against your character.
How you cope in the meantime will affect you for a long time. It won’t be easy, but you still need to be able to go about your day-to-day business without letting the custody battle affect your work or relationships.
You may well need some form of professional counselling to achieve this. It would be unrealistic for you to not have any outlet for your emotions. Holding down a good job, having stable living conditions and a good friend and family support network around you will all be in your favour when it comes to your turn in court. If you have let your worries get the better of you and allowed other parts of your life to disintegrate then there will be less chance of you being seen as fit for parental responsibility.
Don’t bottle your feelings up so they eat away at you. It may not be appropriate to use friends as your backbone, but they will appreciate you being honest with them.
Your family lawyer will be able to advise about any support for your situation and how to ensure you have the best chance of keeping contact with your children.