Should Families Going Through Divorce Have Family Court-Ordered Psychiatrists?

As kids face their parents’ divorce, should courts assign psychiatrists?

The children suffer persistent feelings of insecurity and self-doubt as a result of absentee parents as discussed by R. Chris Fraley and Marie E. Heffernan’s of the University of Illinois 2013 study, Attachment and Parental Divorce: A Test of the Diffusion and Sensitive Period Hypotheses. And what disheartens me the most is that on the front lines, it seems the children most at risk are the ones whose parents are the least likely to take time to talk about the child‘s feelings,academics, problem-behavior or insecurities. 

In fact, these are the same parents I see using their child as a pawn while waging war against the other parent

If the child turns to alcohol and drug use — or his or her academics falter, as is prone to happen — many parents berate and scold the child without taking into account their own culpability for their child’s behavior. 

The number of parents I have seen use their child as subterfuge against their former spouse would shock even the least romantic of us. Beyond the most obvious cases, there are hidden scars that surface when parents often don’t even realize how horrible they are being, and many parents subconsciously make their child feel guilty for spending time with the other parent. 

Not-so-subtle cuesChildren are all too good at reading the room and sensing the tension in the air. I see parents greet each other in front of their child with no smile or affection, no joy or light. Their body language turns limp or hardened depending on the reasons for divorce. The child is left confused about how they should feel, and from whom they should be taking cues. 

What’s worse is that when the child returns to the primary caregiver after a fun weekend with his stepparent and biological mother or father, the feelings of awkwardness coming home are a constant struggle. Unable to bear the thought of their spouse being better liked, or incapable of listening to their child discuss how their weekend went with their former spouse and their new stepparent, the caregiver will often close up and choose silence instead. 

The child gets an unintended cue that they are not to speak about the other parent, or they feel as though they have done something wrong and betrayed one or both of their parents. 

The alternative to silence is the gossipy parent who demands to know every juicy detail about any potential flames hanging around the child or how much money the parent spent, then being visibly frustrated by the money spent on presents for the child, while fuming over late or nonexistent alimony or child support payments. 

Protecting the children of divorce

So if you are facing divorce, what can be done to protect your child from the unintended consequences of your bitter home life? How can you keep your child from feeling abandoned, insecure and guilty if you don’t even realize when or how you are making them feel inadequate? 

Divorce lawyers do not make the best therapists, and while I respect each and every one of my clients and feel compelled by their pain, I cannot be the sole witness to their deterioration and often find myself weighing the pros and cons of telling my clients when I notice they are hurting or isolating their child without realizing it. 

My job, society and the American family would be better off with court-appointed therapy, experts able to help the family deal with the fallout. The focus of their sessions would better the mental health of all involved: mothers, fathers and children. 

A parent loses his or her objectivity over their child’s well-being when half of that child’s time is spent with an adversary. Utilizing court-ordered therapy allows for legal dilemmas to be solved emotionally and therapeutically, creating a positive outcome where the child and parent can adjust to their new roles.

The courts currently have court-ordered therapy, in the form of reunification counseling. This counseling is assigned based on requests from one parent’s lawyer, requests from the attorney for the child, and sometimes by more proactive judges. The idea is usually presented when a child and parent’s relationship is damaged or estranged as a result of the divorce.

For the parent, he or she learns how to have a new beginning without altering the child’s world so drastically that the child’s foundation becomes unrecognizable; and the child learns to cope with change and deal with adversity. 

Another, often forgotten, conflict that may need soothing is the relationship between exes and their extended family: either in-laws or their own extended family. Divorce can cause religious and emotional tensions in one’s own family and cause them to treat the suffering parent as a failure or disappointment. [10 Scientific Tips For Raising Happy Kids]

At times, the extended family may denigrate the other spouse in front of the child, causing confusion and tension. These issues should be sought out and discussed within the group therapy. 

Perhaps controlling former in-laws, or your own extended family, is a non-starter, but the child and parents can learn to cope and navigate odd situations. 

We are all doing our best to live our best lives, to raise the happiest children and have the most wonderful marriages, but that doesn’t always happen. It’s hard to make something perfect without practice. And something as gut-wrenching as a divorce will never be perfect — but it can be less harmful.

We can close those wounds and protect the children who are unwittingly stuck between two negative forces, stuck seeing everyone move on and not understanding what big bang even happened in the first place. In divorce, you can’t be objective — so let the court assign someone to be objective for you. 

David Mejias is an attorney specializing in family law and divorce. He is a managing partner at Mejias, Milgrim & Alvarado, where he has practiced law for 18 years. He currently serves as the chairman of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Foundation, the charitable branch of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association for which he has previously served as president. In 2003, Mejias became the first Latino elected to the Nassau County Legislature, where he served from 2004 to 2010. He contributed this article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.  

Ask most children of divorce and they will agree, they were victims of a difficult childhood and they, decades later, admit they still face struggles that emerged from their parents’ divorce. 

Divorce is an all too common occurrence that can cause families to put their children at risk for a lifetime of daily mental and emotional problems. According to psychologist Judith Wallerstein, who followed a group of children of divorce for 25 years, divorce is not a sudden obstacle the child faces, but a life-changing occurrence that alters their self-views and their opinion of the world at large. The study, which began in 1976, was a comprehensive one with multiple findings and publications. The full findings can be found in Hyperion’s 2000 publication “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: a 25 Year Landmark Study.” Wallerstein’s ultimate finding was that divorce is not one wound from childhood, but a scar that remains for years. [Divorce Hits Youngest Kids the Hardest, Study Finds]

Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.

Source: Should Families Going Through Divorce Have Court-Ordered Psychiatrists?

The CEO of The Fatherhood Task Force speaking before the Florida Supreme Court Committee on the Future of Florida’s Courts

How you can help?
Pledge to Contact the Florida Courts – Demand Judge Manno-Schuerr’s Recusal – Reinstatement of Timesharing

#StandupforZoraya
Facebook.com/StandupforZoraya   —   CNN at http://www.ILoveAndNeedMyDaughter.blogspot.com · Miami, FL ·Post 

STOP Court’s DENIAL of REASONABLE Parent/Child CONTACT

Stop Court Ordered Parental Alienation and Judicial Misconduct. Join the campaign and make a difference.

To end abuse of judicial power through intentional misapplication of the law, preventable errors, etc. Open and transparent government is only a problem to those with something to hide. There is no way to know if a judge has 5 or 500 similar complaints. The criteria for determining probable cause to investigate a judge is confidential and inconsistently applied. There is an over abundance of judicial corruption confirming there is a need for open government in the judiciary. Bad judges are leaving a trail of victims by time they are discovered.  Judges are allowed to make numerous errors that litigants pay tens of thousands of dollars to correct through the appellate process or either live with illegal orders. Judges make intentionally erroneous orders with the knowledge litigants don’t have the resources to correct.

judge-judyWLYB…..
The once honorable profession of law now fully functions as a bottom-line business, driven by greed and the pursuit of power and wealth, even shaping the laws of the United States outside the elected Congress and state legislatures.

When a lawyer puts on a robe and takes the bench, he or she is called a judge. But in reality, when judges look down from the bench they are lawyers looking upon fellow members of their fraternity. In any other area of the free-enterprise system, this would be seen as a conflict of interest.

When a lawyer takes an oath as a judge, it merely enhances the ruling class of lawyers and judges. This devolution of lawmaking by the judiciary has been subtle, taking place incrementally over decades. But today, it’s ingrained in our legal system, and few even question it. But the result is clear. Individuals can no longer participate in the legal system.

Gag Order Placed on Leon Koziol.Com While Website Saved Another Father From Suicide

LEONKOZIOLJD.WORDPRESS.COM

Zoraya is a KIDNAPPED Child!!
Facebook.com/StandupforZoraya

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Should Families Going Through Divorce Have Family Court-Ordered Psychiatrists?

  1. Case #2008-029595 FC 17 11th Jud. Cir. in County of Miami Dade: Family Court Services, 175 NW 1st Ave #1503, Miami, FL 33128 STOP Court’s DENIAL of REASONABLE Parent/Child CONTACT · http://www.causes.com

    The Kafkaesque nightmare of family court | Communities Digital News
    http://www.commdiginews.com

    Children’s Rights Florida – YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Pingback: Complaints of judicial misconduct findings in Florida | Children's Rights

  3. Pingback: You’re Worth Fighting For!! | Children's Rights

  4. Pingback: Courts must work toward a shared parenting norm – Miami Herald | Family Law Reform

  5. Pingback: True or False? “Parental Alienation is a tactical ploy used by attorneys whose clients (primarily fathers) are seeking custody of their children.” | American Fathers

  6. Pingback: CONTACT DENIAL IS CHILD ABUSE | American Fathers

  7. Pingback: Judicial Bias and Absolute Discretion in Family Courts | American Fathers

  8. Pingback: The rights that children have to free and equal association with both fit parents… | Stand Up For Zoraya

  9. Pingback: Dads Impact The Lives Of Their Children – Stand Up For Zoraya

  10. Pingback: Principal is not your Pal | American Fathers

  11. Pingback: Men Matter | Children's Rights

  12. Pingback: Eliminate Legal Representation in Family Courts – Family Law Reform

  13. Pingback: Complaints of Judicial Misconduct in Florida | Children’s Rights Florida – Americans for Equal Rights for Fathers

  14. Pingback: Rick Scott is a complete retard even for an elected political Hero! | Children's Rights

  15. Pingback: What Is A Divorce? | Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

  16. Pingback: Denial of reasonable access to your own kids is child abuse​ – Stand Up For Zoraya

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s