Children suffer in a high-conflict Tulsa custody dispute. When spouses going through a divorce in Oklahoma argue excessively, or use their children as pawns to manipulate the other spouse, children suffer. Their anxiety levels skyrocket, they act out if older, exhibit regressive behaviors such as bed-wetting if younger, have trouble sleeping, develop somatic symptoms such as stomachaches, and their grades start to drop if they are in school.
Sometimes, it feels as though there is nothing we can do to make it any easier, especially if the spouse or ex-spouse is highly combative. But there are things we can do to reduce tension in a high-conflict Tulsa custody dispute.
Shield Your Children During a Tulsa Custody Dispute
First and foremost, shield the children as much as possible from the conflict that often happens during a Tulsa custody dispute.
It is imperative that spouses refrain from arguing in front of the children, whether those arguments take place in person or by telephone. A child will know that you are yelling at their father when you are yelling at someone on the phone. Children feel torn and upset when parents fight.
When not in contact with the other parent, it is important that each parent refrain from speaking badly about the other parent. Save those conversations for times when your children cannot hear you.
Again, it is unfair to expect a child to take sides. And speaking badly about the other parent is in essence a conscious or subconscious ploy to get a child to side with you.
Negotiate Through Your Attorney
During a high-conflict Tulsa custody dispute, avoid speaking to your ex if at all possible. If you must communicate directly with an ex, try to do so in writing rather than in person or over the phone.
In writing, you can calm down and think things through. You can take a measured tone in your writing that will go farther in achieving a calm and fair dissolution than a verbal dispute.
Remember though, that if you write to your ex, that document could be used later in court. So, try to keep all negotiations and communications strictly through your attorney. You may have to pay a bit more for this, but in the long run things will run more smoothly.
Have your attorney develop a parenting plan with your ex’s attorney. Know who has the children and when. Know how responsibilities are delegated in the plan.
As part of that plan, try to arrange to avoid face-to-face custody and visitation exchanges of the children. If one parent can drop off at school and the other pick up from school, this eliminates the possibility of an argument between parents during the exchange.
Develop the parenting plan and then follow it. If the parenting plan is not working, let your attorney know as soon as possible.
Develop Other Interests — Let Go
Start to move on in your life. It is easy to get stuck in the pain, grief, and anger of an Oklahoma divorce.
Instead, start to think about reweaving your future. Develop other interests. Take a class, start a yoga or meditation practice, or run or walk daily with friends.
Exercise and outside activities will help you feel better, especially when things are stressful. This allows you time and some space to breathe and cool off on a regular basis.
Finally, pick your battles and let your attorney wage the war. Let the small stuff go if possible.
Hopefully, this will allow both parents to experience more breathing room during a Tulsa custody dispute. Divorce is a process on many levels: legal, financial, emotional, and personal.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Child Custody Attorney
Your choice of an Oklahoma divorce attorney is critical, especially in the event of a Tulsa custody dispute. Before you retain our family law attorneys, you are invited to have a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to help you determine whether our family law services can meet your particular needs.
For a free consultation with a Tulsa child custody attorney about your concerns, call the Divorce Law Office of Tulsa today at 918-924-5526.