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being a supportive stepparent during a custody battle - cartoon of man and woman both pulling at a child between them

Being A Supportive Stepparent During A Custody Battle

How To Be A Supportive Stepparent During A Custody Battle

Family means different things to different people. Step families with their associated step relatives have become commonplace in the United States.

This means you can have a lot of support, since others may be going through similar situations. One of the tensest family moments is a custody battle.

Needless to say, it’s important to be a good stepparent especially during this time.

Avoid the Pitfalls

One important thing to do as a step parent is avoid the potential pitfalls associated with being a step parent.

These pitfalls are not too common, but letting one of them dominate your  thinking and actions can make it harder on everyone going through this difficult situation.

Beware of the the following:

  • Seeking full custody solely because you want your spouse to have less contact with her ex,
  • Giving more attention to a biological or stepchild over another; playing favorites, and
  • Competing for a stepchild’s attention.

Nurture Your Child’s Inner-Self

You probably know most young children are self-centered. This is an evolutionary trait because children typically look out for themselves when they’re young.

This means the issues they’ll be dealing with will relate mostly to how the custody battle is going to affect them.

Being a good step parent means you need to be honest about what might change and what you will help to make sure doesn’t.

Support the Biological Parent

Your step children need to see you are a support system for their other parent. This will help them understand you’re going to be a support system for them, should they ever need you to be.

If your spouse needs to have a meeting with their lawyer at Hackworth Law or whichever other firm they are using, then be there. Show up to all of the court dates as well.

In the long-run, your step child will see just how much of a part of their life you were and it will mean a lot. The key is to do what needs to be done, since this entire situation is already very draining.

Expect Strong Emotions

The emotions your children will experience will vary. There’s a lot to deal with.

Your kids could express themselves at any moment. It’s a good idea to just allow your children to vent or talk whenever they need to.

Help them to create positive coping mechanisms, like drawing, that could be ways for them to redirect their feelings.

The key is to be open to whatever your children might need. Don’t force your child or children to talk about the situation if they’re not ready to do so.

Consider these tips to help your spouse and children get through this difficult time. The information should ensure the custody battle goes as smoothly as possible.

About The Author

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and full-time mother from Sacramento, CA. Her two boys keep her very busy, but they are her inspiration for much of her writing. Her favorite subjects to write about are family and business.

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