The Custody Battle from a Child's Perspective

Think about how many memories you have from your childhood, whether good or bad, that have an effect on you now as an adult. It is amazing how the smallest, most seemingly minute words or happenings turn out to be what shapes us. The little things that "stick". Now think about how you would feel if looking back at those memories, you remembered the hate-fueled words your parents screamed as they argued over which you would live with. Or the ways in which they used you as a pawn to hurt one another, constantly trying to make you feel their bitterness toward the other. Those memories wouldn't be so great to reminisce on.

While a child's best interest in the present is always top priority in any custody matter, we must also think about the future effects of the battle. The emotional well-being of children often gets overlooked within the heated throes of a divorce. Parents who are navigating their own way through heartache sometimes fail to communicate with children who are also feeling the effects. While it was previously believed by researchers that children who were the product of divorce were troublemakers who stayed depressed and fell behind in school, studies now prove quite different.

There are three factors that have been found to affect a child's psychological outlook after a custody dispute. First, the relationship the child had with each parent prior to the separation. It is extremely important to facilitate these relationships as normally as possible after the separation. Second, the level of conflict between the parents. When heated arguments take place in front of a child, it leaves a lasting impression. Third, the willingness of the parents to put the child's needs before their own both during and after the dispute. The ultimate goal of any divorcing couple with children should be to keep their lives as similar to what they are accustomed to as possible going forward. Doing so will be a tremendous help in allowing a child to adjust to their new normal without feelings of bitterness or resentment.

Child custody does not have to be a negative, emotionally destroying event for a child. If handled by people who genuinely care about their well-being, and want to help facilitate the transition as smoothly as possible, it can turn out to be just a small bump in the road.

Tags: Child Custody

Related Posts: Modification of child custody in Colorado, How do Colorado courts enforce parenting plans?, CFIs, PREs and allocation of parental responsibilities, Parallel parenting plan can help in high conflict cases