When a Custody Battle Takes a Physical & Emotional Toll: Tips for Coping

Fighting for custody can take a huge toll on your child, both physically and emotionally. You might feel overwhelmed with the legal aspect of things as well as having someone who previously supported you now trying to work against you. You might also feel scared that you will lose your child. If you and your child are struggling to cope during a custody battle, here are a few helpful tips.

Don’t Discuss Custody Problems With Your Child

Depending on your child’s age, he or she might be a person you discuss a lot of your life with. This is perfectly healthy when it comes to the television you watch together or the movies you go see, but it’s unacceptable when it comes to custody problems. You should never vent to your kid about his or her other parent or complain that things would be easier without the child’s father or mother. When talking with your child, keep your comments neutral. If you feel like you have to vent, talk with a friend or a therapist. Your kid should never hear you saying negative things about his or her other parent. Your focus during this difficult time should be your child and his or her needs. If you’re constantly complaining about the other parent, you’re not thinking about what your son or daughter needs. Keep your talk about other subjects or focus the conversation on how your child is handling the custody situation. Save your feelings for another adult.

Let Your Child Know It’s Okay To Love Both Parents

Most likely, your son or daughter will feel caught in the middle of the custody battle. He or she loves both parents and may want to live with both parents. Your child might feel forced to choose one of you, especially if he sees that you’re struggling more than your co-parent. Part of keeping your feelings neutral is letting your child know that it’s okay to love both parents. Remind your kid frequently that both parents still love him or her and what to do what’s best for the current situation. While that may not include the whole family living together anymore, it does include both parents loving the child and looking out for him or her. Tell your kid that you love him or her and make it clear that he or she can continue to love both parents and can be verbal about that love.

Seek Professional Help

One of the best appointments you can make during this difficult time is with a professional. Going to therapy yourself will give you a safe space to talk about what you’re experiencing. Your therapist can provide you with coping skills and perspective on what’s happening. He or she can also help you learn how to communicate with your co-parent. Bringing your child to therapy will provide him or her with an impartial trusted adult who’s willing to hear about both parents. Your child can also learn the coping skills and gain a perspective on what’s happening. You can find the right therapist for you and your child at nyctherapy.com and start attending individual or group sessions.

You may also need an excellent lawyer during this time. Someone like Howard Fensterman will fight for your needs while staying empathetic to you and your family. The right lawyer will help you settle a custody battle with civility and speed. A good relationship with your lawyer is extremely important when you’re going through something as difficult as this.

This may be one of the most difficult times in your life. Remember that it will take many months or even years to come to a comfortable place with your family. Seek the family you need and always do what’s best for your child.