In high-conflict child custody cases, both parents may want to win and refuse to make necessary compromises toward a workable agreement. Unfortunately, when neither party backs down, their child may experience the worst emotional fallout.
Thus, aside from protecting their parental rights, parents must also promote their child’s best interests by helping them make it through these challenging times.
Parents must stay attuned to their child’s needs
Some child custody disputes require court litigation. Often, these disagreements stem from domestic violence, substance abuse, criminal activities and other destructive behaviors.
Depending on the child’s age, they may not accurately comprehend the severity of their family’s situation. So, parents must be aware that they are their child’s primary support system. They can help them cope by:
- Explaining the changes and why they must happen: Sudden shifts in family dynamics, such as splitting their time and energy between two households, can confuse the child. Keeping them in the dark may do more harm than good. Parents must discuss the nature of and reasons for the changes in a language the child can understand.
- Avoiding criticisms or accusations against the other parent: Badmouthing the other parent only forces the child to take sides. Doing so can make the child feel guilty and blame themselves. Parents must be civil and support each other’s parenting time to show their child that it is okay to spend quality moments with both parents.
- Maintaining familiar routines: Doing familiar activities – eating out, watching movies or going to the beach – can comfort the child, knowing that things do not need to be all bad. It can reassure them that they can hold on to pleasant memories and look forward to making new ones.
- Fostering trust and confidence: Overtly expressing that they still have two parents who care for them deeply can build the child’s trust and confidence and allow them to open up more about their emotions. Parents must make it a habit to listen to how their child processes their feelings, so they can also determine ways to address potentially disruptive behaviors.
Ultimately, parents must accept that child custody disputes will impact their child’s well-being. One way or another, their child will cry and throw tantrums out of fear, anger and anxiety about the things happening around them. Thus, they should be there to guide them out of their misery.
Parents must unite for their child’s sake
Parents may be on two opposing sides, but their child remains their common ground. Since the court considers several factors when dealing with child custody concerns, parents must secure reliable Louisiana representation to stay within legal terms in protecting their child’s welfare and future.