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Should parents take custody battles to court?

It's not likely that any parent actually wants to be involved in a custody dispute over his or her children. One parent may think he or she knows what's best, though, and that could cause a problem between him or her and the other. Perhaps the other parent feels he or she has the right idea about visitation and custody and won't relent. The facts that the court will need to review include no beliefs or views about what might be best, but instead evidence of what is best for a child.

Regardless of what the parents feel is right, if a case goes to court, the result is in the judge's hands. Should you fight over your child and custody? If you fear for the child, perhaps the answer is yes, but if there is no reasonable explanation for why you don't want the other parent to have custody or why you want to limit visitation, you may be better to settle this situation out of court.

To help keep your custody dispute out of court, you should start to consider what is actually good for your child, not just what you want for your child. For instance, if you wanted to limit time with your child's father because it makes you uncomfortable or because you fight when you see each other, it may be better to have the courage to allow the visitation your child needs for a healthy development. You may feel uncomfortable, but your child may not have that same reaction to seeing someone he or she loves.

By working through situations like above outside court, you and your ex-spouse are more likely to come to an agreement you both approve of. When that happens, a judge won't be the only one making the decisions about your child's future.

Source: Huffington Post Divorce, "Parents Should Think Twice Before Engaging in a Custody Battle Over Their Children," Mark Baer, Nov. 10, 2015

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