If you are getting a divorce and have a child, you must put your child’s best interests first. What that means is that the decisions you make should be made with your child’s health and wellbeing in mind.
While divorcing, you can take steps to put your child first. For example, if you have to move to a new apartment because of property division decisions, making sure the apartment is close to your child’s school and has a bedroom for them is essential. Similarly, deciding to move closer to family or to change your work schedule to make room for more custody time will reflect that you want to do what you can to be close to your child and build a positive relationship.
How can you prove that your child comes first when you make decisions?
Part of divorcing with kids includes setting up a custody plan and schedule. If you and the other parent aren’t able to determine a schedule that works for you, then that case may go to trial.
If that happens, you will need to show that you’re putting your child first in every situation that involves them. You will want to be able to show that you specifically chose a home that suited them or that you have been setting aside your own preferred activities to make sure they make it to their own extracurricular activities during the divorce. Showing an interest in their life, and being able to prove that you’re doing everything you can to provide for them, is what impresses a judge.
Should you let your child choose where to live?
Some parents think that letting their child choose where to live is a reflection of letting them do what they feel is in their best interests, but that’s not always really what’s best for your child. If you have a teen, then it makes sense to let them have input. If your child is younger, you may discuss it with them but ultimately make that decision on their behalf. Whether they choose their schedule or not doesn’t reflect positively or negatively on you in most cases.
Divorcing with a child can be tough, but doing what’s best for them will help you maintain custody and make the right impression on a courtroom if you need to appear.