In a Custody Case the Long Term is Longer Than You May Think

I often hear prospective clients say that once the youngest child turns 18 they will never have to deal with the other parent again. As a result they feel comfortable taking aggressive positions against the other parent. For example mom may refuse to switch a holiday or weekend when dad asks for a change, or dad may refuse to allow mom to have the child for an extra few days when mom wants to take a spring break trip. The idea is that it is only a couple of years until the parenting plan does not matter so there is no reason to play nice.

This is a serious mistake. Although the parenting plan may stop when the youngest child is 18, the relationship between the parties will not end. There are going to be college graduations, marriages, grandchildren and holidays even after the child is 18.

What some parties do not understand is the aggressive position you take today may still cause problems years from now. If you refuse to switch a holiday or weekend now the other parent may reciprocate by being difficult when it comes to holidays with grandchildren ten or twenty years from now.

The bottom line is the long run may be longer than you think. It is usually in your best interest to be cooperative with the other parent, even if you do not want to at this moment. If there is a legitimate reason to deny a request then do so; but if there is not a real, legitimate reason then you should try to work together. Ultimately every decision should be guided by answering one question – what is best for the child?

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