When you are going through a divorce, life doesn't end up being put on hold while you wait for your divorce to be completed. For example, if your child is misbehaving, you may need to take disciplinary actions for your child's own good. However, parents will sometimes use attempts at discipline against the other parent during custody battles. If this is the case, a family lawyer may help you make a "discipline defense."
Parents are allowed to take actions to discipline their children, and some courts even rule that they may not be charged with injuring their children if they can prove that their actions were reasonable with the help of witness testimony. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the defense only needs to prove their case through the preponderance of the evidence. This means that it must be more likely than not that your actions were justified.
Brainwashing the Other Child
Another problem you might encounter is when the other parent tries to use discipline as a way to turn your child against you. For example, your child might be misbehaving and you may need to ground them. Then, the other parent might criticize you for the act of discipline and undermine your authority.
Your ex-spouse might want to brainwash your child as a way to encourage them to testify against you as a way to gain custody. For example, your child might have originally preferred living with you, but now prefers living with the other parent.
Discipline After Divorce
If you are being accused of abusing your child and you need to engage in discipline, you should ask your family lawyer about whether the act of discipline you are considering will affect your case. You may want to focus more on rewarding positive behavior and less on punishing negative behavior.
Avoid being angry when you are disciplining your child. For one, doing so can make your discipline less effective because it makes your message muddier. Also, you will be more likely to do something that your attorney advised against, and it is easier to use your words against you when they are said in anger.
However, when you gather evidence that you are a better parent than your ex-spouse and you are able to show that staying with you is in the best interest of the child, you'll have a better chance of winning custody.
For more information about how a family lawyer can advise you about parenting during a divorce, contact a local law office.