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WHAT DOES WINNING CUSTODY MEAN TO A CHILD?
by Dr. Reena Sommer

When parents think about winning child custody, the typical scenario that comes to mind is one where one parent wins and the other one loses. But how often do parents consider what winning child custody means to their child? For most children, what seems to be a "win" for parents (i.e., being granted sole custody), is often a huge loss for them. Think about it from a child's perspective - if one parent wins custody,then the child loses the opportunity to maintain as full a relationship with the other parent.

Clearly, there are cases where a parent should not have custody or joint custody. Situations where a parent is incapable of parenting, unwilling to parent and/or poses a real risk to the child. But these situations are not typical and do not represent the majority of divorcing parents. Yet, in spite of this, who do custody battles wage on? The answer is twofold - most custody battles are about money and revenge. And sadly, the biggest losers are the children who become the unfortunate pawns in this very sad state of affairs.

Lessen the Trauma of Divorce

The current thinking is that children do best when they are able to maintain a relationship with both of their parents. Having both parents in their lives mediates the trauma of divorce and lessens their sense of loss. It therefore seems that the reasonable thing to do is to reconsider one's thinking. Does your objection to sharing custody (which by the way you have done throughout your marriage) have more to do with satisfying your needs rather than your child's? If you can be completely honest with yourself, then I would bet that the answer would be - your own needs.

The Long Term Costs of Winning Child Custody

If this is the case, then it might also be worthwhile to consider the following: Given that children's time living at home is so brief relative to their total life time, and given that a parent's relationship with them will extend beyond the time that they are in their care, doesn't it make more sense, to do what it takes to foster a positive relationship with them that will last a lifetime? Put another way, does winning custody (for a period of less than 18 years) worth the price of tainting a relationship that should last another forty years? This also does not factor in the financial costs associated with winning child custody which could be otherwise used to enrich everyone's lives.

Think about it?

Need More Information?

Everyone's concerns are unique. For that reason, Dr. Reena Sommer offers a brief "no obligation" telephone consultation. Please call her with your questions and concerns at 281.534.3923



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Dr. Reena Sommer & Associates PLLC 蟀
Houston, Texas
PHONE: 281.534.3923

DRREENA@CUSTODYTRIALCONSULTANTS.COM