1. Don’t play games! Decide up front what your goals are and how you want things to go for you. I would recommend peace and compromise because it worked very well for me, but it’s your choice how much stress you would like to endure.
· Don’t make things up about the other person to get ahead.
· Be fair and reasonable.
· Be honest with yourself and consider the effects your decisions have on everybody involved.
· Don’t ask your ex to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself.
· Take the high road and you will win in the end.
· Remember, what comes around goes around.
2. DO NOT USE YOUR CHILDREN AS PAWNS TO GET WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR EX! This is the greatest of sins if you ask me. Leave the kids out of it! There is nothing in the world worth fighting over at the expense of your kids.
Don’t deny the other parent custody because you want more money or possession! That’s absolutely ridiculous! You are purposely causing pain and suffering to not only your ex, but your kids too! Every child loves their parents and deserves to have both parents peacefully living in their lives. If your ex dumped you and you are bitter, go to therapy and leave the kids out of it!
I grew up without a father and believe me when I tell you that living without a parent in your life shapes who you become in your teens and as an adult. Let’s just say one might look for love in all the wrong places if they don’t have a good male or female role model in their life. Don’t fool yourself into believing that a step parent can fill the shoes of a biological parent-would that be good enough for you?
3. Don’t hire a cut throat lawyer that wants to tear your ex to shreds. There are plenty of good, qualified attorneys that have your same values and succeed in court without tearing the opposing party apart. One of my favorite sayings is “How you do anything is how you do everything.” If you hire a lawyer that thinks putting your ex through the ringer is a good idea, imagine what they have in store for you. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with keeping you in court as long as possible and taking all your money. Unless you want to spend all your time and money in court, I would think long and hard about who you hire to represent you.
4. Don’t continually change the parenting schedule, show up late or drop off the kids late. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to give them clear expectations and a consistent schedule. Children thrive when they know what to expect, they feel safer. Consistency is one of the keys to your child’s well being.
5. If you are required to pay child support, pay it! It is the right thing to do and, frankly, kids are a fortune to feed! It’s been my experience that no matter how much child support is awarded by the court, the person paying it ALWAYS feels like it’s too much and the person receiving it feels like it’s NEVER enough. I have yet to find an exception to this rule.