Making The Complex

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Custody battles can do more harm than good to your kids

For many divorcing Louisiana parents, some of the most emotional and hard-fought battles involve their children — in particular questions of custody. Many parents tell themselves that they’re fighting for what’s best for their children. However, their beliefs may be impacted by their own strong negative feelings toward their spouse.

One attorney calls these “emotional facts.” He defines this as “emotionally-generated false information accepted as true and appearing to require emergency legal action.” However, by dragging out custody issues in court, they’re spending money that they could be using for their children and destroying their ability to effectively co-parent them. Unless physical or emotional abuse is involved or one person truly is unable or unwilling to parent, divorced parents will eventually need to find a way to co-parent.

Further, child custody battles often place the decision in the hands of a judge who doesn’t know you, your spouse or your children. Consider whether that’s what you really want.

One attorney felt so strongly about the impact of child custody battles on kids that he made a film about it. The film, “Talk to Strangers,” looks at custody battles from kids’ point of view. The film points out, among other things, that:

— Parents often believe that their children are more resilient than they are.

— The children at the center of these fights believe that their parents are more concerned with fighting each other than what’s best for them.

— Children who are asked to choose which parent to live with may be basing their decision on which one they think needs them more or on false or skewed information that one parent has given them about the other one.

— Kids are often far more aware of the battle going on over custody than their parents realize.

Before you decide to add custody and visitation issues to your list of things to fight with your estranged spouse over, take an honest look at whether you’re truly doing this to benefit your children or whether you want to hurt or get back at your spouse. That person may have been a lousy husband or wife, but is he or she truly a bad parent?

An experienced Louisiana family law attorney who cares not just about protecting your rights but about the well-being of your children may be able to help you take an honest look at the situation.

Source: Huffington Post, “Parents Should Think Twice Before Engaging in a Custody Battle Over Their Children,” Mark Baer, Nov. 10, 2015


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