It took several months, but you finally won the custody battle against your former spouse. Now you’re a single parent in Florida trying to juggle raising a child and holding down a full-time job at the same time. Things seem to be going fairly well until the day that your child tells you that they want to live with their other parent.

How should you react when your child wants to live with their other parent?

If you’re like many parents, your first reaction might be anger, particularly if you just spent thousands of dollars on a lawyer with experience in family law. But before you respond, take a step back and ask yourself how your child feels. Speaking up probably took a lot of courage, and you don’t want to make them feel like they can’t be open about their feelings.

If your child wants to live with your former spouse, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent. It simply means that they want to have a relationship with their other parent. After all, your child used to see this person every day, and now they see them only a few times a month. Additionally, while you might have negative feelings toward your former spouse, your child probably doesn’t share these feelings. That person is their mother or father, not their ex.

When dealing with the situation, try to be compassionate and open-minded. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and listen without judgment. You should also invite your former spouse into the conversation. It might not seem ideal, but they deserve to know what’s going on. If you have worries or fears about the situation, share them with a friend or a relative instead of your child. Never criticize your former spouse in front of the child, as this might be used against you later in court.

How can an attorney help you with custody disputes?

Hiring an attorney might make child custody negotiations easier. Your attorney might be able to help you prove to the judge that you can provide a safe, stable home for your child. If you need to change the agreement later on, your attorney might help you request a modification.