If you don’t have children, then there’s little harm in prioritizing getting what you want in a divorce. If, however, you have kids, then you need to put them first. At least, that is what people might tell you.
When determining custody, courts use the child’s best interests to guide them. Yet, does that mean everything you do should be in their best interests, even if it contradicts yours?
Think of the long-term benefits of every action
Let’s say you are feeling tired after a rough week. Your child wants you to take them shopping in Reston for shoes. When you look at their shoes, you can see holes appearing.
You might reason it is in the child’s best interests that you drag yourself out of bed to sit in traffic and then wander around the stores so they can get a new pair of shoes. Yet, what might truly be in their best interests is to do what is in your best interests – i.e., say no to the shopping trip, stay in bed a little longer, then have a lazy day at home. By doing that, you can recover the energy you need to be a patient parent and deal with the upcoming divorce proceedings. The shoe shopping can wait for another day when you have more energy.
Parenting is a tough job, and divorce can make it even harder. Caring for yourself will be crucial both during and after the divorce process. What’s more, doing so will typically turn out to be in the child’s best interests when you look at the overall picture. Consider legal help to understand more about how things will work during your divorce.