So, you are preparing to divorce your spouse, and you have your dukes up for the certain onslaught of courtroom battles over child custody. What if your New York divorce could proceed without a crushing child custody dispute? Custody battles may seem necessary, but potential co-parents need to ask themselves some serious questions before they launch into a potential harmful and drawn-out legal proceeding.

First, consider whether you want your children’s lives to be open to scrutiny by mental health professionals, attorneys and court officials. These people will be required to interview your child to determine the best course of action for your child custody case. These proceedings, along with others related to ongoing custody disputes, may cause children to suffer from anxiety and uncertainty about their future. Imagine not knowing the future of your relationship with your parents and siblings. The fear and concern that accompany a child custody battle can have a lasting impact on your child.

Further, those who are considering a nasty custody dispute should determine whether they want their high-conflict divorce to serve as a model for parenting for their own kids. High conflict between parents can lead to lasting emotional disorders, but it can also instill negative habits for your child’s future family behaviors. The worst part: During an invasive proceeding, your child may be required to describe all of these emotions to court officials through the aforementioned interviews.

High-conflict custody disputes can also lead to financial difficulties because of the high cost of litigation. Plus, there is no guarantee that you will agree with the decision that is handed down by the judge, who is likely a total stranger. Cooperation in your child custody proceedings really does pay off in the long term and promote the best interests of the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorcing Parents: 10 Questions to Ask Before Fighting Over the Kids” Rosalind Sedacca, Jul. 21, 2014