The well-being of children in the legal process is critical, and there are key consideration for children in divorce cases. Divorce can be a difficult issue to resolve amicably. The children in divorce are too often placed in the middle of the parents’ breakup in a way that creates anxiety for the children. This should be avoided at all cost. When considering a divorce where child custody will be an issue, consider the following:
- Never involve the children in divorce without the direct supervision of a mental health professional. Parents may want to discuss the divorce process with their children. This should be avoided. It may backfire if one parent has that conversation with the children solo. The other parent may make an issue out of the conversation being had without their input. They may even go so far as to suggest that the other parent is coaching the children into forming an opinion as to the other parent. For this reason it is best to avoid these conversations without the involvement of a counselor.
- See the relationship between the other parent and the child from the eyes of your children. A father may be the hero of his young son’s own story regardless of whether or not the mother sees the dad as a bum. As adults we get to choose our partners. Children are stuck with us as parents. Litigants should always try to make the most of their children’s relationship with the other parent so long as the relationship is not harmful to the child.
- Accept the reality of the legal process. Child custody and visitation are based exclusively on what is in the best interest of the minor child in the view of the judge. A host of factors enter into this determination, including work schedules, your past relationship with the child, likelihood that the parents can work together, and who is likely to best facilitate the relationship between the child and other parent, among others. Keep in mind that you will begin with joint custody and visitation being the starting point. You will have to convince the judge why it shouldn’t be this way.
Nothing can create more vitriol in a divorce like a custody fight. Nothing can cost more time, money, and anxiety either than children in divorce cases. The family law attorneys at Smith Simmons approach every case with an eye toward avoiding this if at all possible, while always protecting the health, safety and welfare of the minor children. We prepare for every legal scenario, but work toward the client’s best case scenario. We’re here to help when custody is at issue.