As a North Carolina parent who has filed for divorce, you no doubt understand that your decision will not only disrupt your children’s lives but will also have an emotional impact on them. Providing emotional support and coping skills to children, while also addressing relevant legal issues, can be challenging, even for parents who have an amicable relationship. Some child custody issues, for instance, can spur legal trouble, particularly in cases where one parent “is out to get” the other out of anger over past marital or divorce-related issues.
As a concerned parent, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about state child custody guidelines ahead of time, in order to protect your rights and ensure that your children’s best interests are the central focus of proceedings. It’s also a good idea to have a strong support network in place, so that assistance is readily available if a legal problem arises. Parental cooperation and compromise are key factors toward co-parenting success.
Avoid speaking negatively about a co-parent
One of the child custody issues that can lead to legal disputes in a divorce is parental alienation. If one parent is constantly bad-mouthing the other, intentionally trying to turn the kids away from their other parent, it can cause serious problems. Unless a judge has restricted your access to your children, your ex has no right to prevent child/parent interaction or to try to impede your relationship with your kids.
If your ex is constantly speaking negatively about you in front of your kids, it might be part of an underlying, intentional attempt to turn them away from you and to interfere with your ability to maintain an active relationship with them after divorce. Do your kids think that you blame them for your divorce or that you left because you don’t love them? Many times, one parent tells kids such things when he or she is trying to alienate the other parent.
If a co-parent disregards a court order
Former spouses might disagree about their parenting styles, which is not necessarily a problem. The rules kids have in your household might differ from their other parent’s home. However, if your co-parent is refusing to adhere to the terms of a child custody agreement, that is another issue altogether, and is one that you may seek the court’s intervention to resolve.
Signing a co-parenting agreement means that it is legally enforceable, which is why it’s so important for you to clearly understand North Carolina child custody laws, as well as the implications of the exact terms proposed in your specific agreement. Once the court approves your agreement, and you and your ex both sign it, you’re bound to adhere to the terms. If he or she isn’t fulfilling the obligation to do so, you may immediately bring the matter to the court’s attention.