Kids and Courts myths and what makes them so dangerous for children.
Myth I: “Judges Protect Children During Divorce.”
That sounds reasonable enough, right? The problem is that judges are not aware of the suffering a child may be experiencing while his/her parents are slugging it out in family court. And even if judges were aware, there isn’t much they can do about it.
Part of the problem is timing. Even in custody and access cases in which judges become involved with children’s issues, that involvement usually doesn’t begin until trial has begun or is imminent.
Parents on the brink of child custody and access battles sometimes find comfort in popular myths that minimize the risks involved to their children. Parents who rely upon those myths do so at the risk of their children’s emotional health.
The risk of such damage is substantial. Extensive research has established that the kind of prolonged parental conflict present in these battles is toxic to children who experience it. And as if that weren’t bad enough, battles over children during a divorce (“fully contested divorces”) also deprives children of the very things they need most.
What are those things? A “Top 4 List” of the needs of children of divorce would read something like this:
- An end to their parents’ fighting
- An end to uncertainty about where and with whom they will be living
- A return to some degree of normalcy in their lives
- Security in knowing that their parents will continue to love and care for them
Custody/access battles typically deprive children of not 1 or 2, but all of the above.
It’s true that at trial, family judges try to do what’s in children’s best interests. But that doesn’t eliminate the impact of months of anxiety and stress for children whose parents are too embroiled in their own conflict to attend to the needs of their kids.
Nor can judges spare children the awful experience of the custody/access evaluation process. In fact, judges rely on that process for information and assessments to use in deciding cases. Furthermore, judges don’t supervise the process; by the time a case comes before a judge for trial, the evaluation is done.
The bottom line is that even the most conscientious . No one can protect children from high-conflict divorce except parents dedicated to avoiding it by working out their differences in their children’s best interests.
Source: DivorcedMoms.com | Article