A contentious battle in the Tennessee courts can affect the people getting divorced as well as those around them, including their kids. Minimizing emotional conflict and trauma benefits everyone. A stepparent does not need to just sit back and stand away. There are a variety of things that they might do in support of their partner who is going through a custody battle.
Disengage yourself emotionally
Give yourself space; you will need this to be objective while helping your partner. On the outside, you will be calm, even though feeling some fire inside. Resist the urge to make negative comments.
Listen and support
Your partner may need to vent; however, if the contentious divorce topics lead to a negative emotional spiral, you might keep your partner grounded by re-steering the conversation toward more positive topics.
Help them clarify goals
What are your partner’s goals? Are there some things that are not open to negotiation? You can help them to think through their goals before they enter the courtroom. Helping them to focus on what they want and any things that are not negotiable will help to provide clarity and keep them focused.
Become the organizer
Keep a record of documents and relevant information. Even before heading off to the lawyer, you can help your partner with preparation.
Contribute in a way that feels manageable
You don’t want to feel frazzled and have a need for your partner to help you when you want to be helping them. Getting therapy and scheduling time for self-care are important considerations.
Custody disputes may take a toll on the two ex-spouses as well as their present partners. Staying calm is important; offer help that is manageable for your needs as well.