Many people equate a courtroom battle to a sporting event like the Super Bowl. Two sides enter and one side triumphs over the other. While that may be true in criminal cases or personal injury lawsuits, it is rarely true in family law - especially when child custody is involved.
Nobody wins a child custody battle. Unless both sides agree on how to split time with the children, it is unlikely that either side will have truly gotten what they wanted. And if that is the case, you shouldn't be in court. In the rare cases where one side gets everything they asked the court for, they still don't feel like a winner. If they fought to decrease the other parent's visitation, I'm sure they would prefer that the other parent was a better parent who deserved more visitation. If they fought to increase their own visitation, it's likely that they still feel like they should have more visitation. In most cases though, neither side ends up getting what they want. The two sides might come up with a compromise and make an agreement. Or, the court might make the compromise for them. Either way, oftentimes both sides walk away from a custody battle feeling like they lost - because they both didn't get everything they asked for.
Because of this, it is important to keep perspective on what parts of your requests are most important to you. Since you know you're going to likely walk away as a loser, it makes sense to focus on trying to win the most important battles.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS