High Conflict Custody Cases: How Can They Be Avoided

Most family therapists and other mental health professional agree that divorce can have a profound affect on children.  A child often loses daily contact with one parent and may also have reduced contact with extended family, which may be part of the child’s support structure.  Children may also be forced to change schools and move from the family home.  Depending on the distance of the relocation, children may even lose contact with their friends.  The impact of a bitter high conflict divorce and child custody dispute can have profound long-term effects on one’s children.  However, this result is not inevitable; there is a better way.

The attorneys of Koehn & Tahirkheli, L.L.C. are committed to helping parents facing divorce reach constructive workable long-term resolution of their child custody issues.  Our experienced family law attorneys recognize that conflict and dispute does more to increase the stress and cost of your divorce than to promote your best interest and the long-term well being of your children.  We also know that the reasons behind a divorce can mean that a parent may be struggling with anger, pain and hostility.  Our experienced Kansas family law attorneys can provide a candid and straightforward evaluation of what a court may do and help you cut through the emotional turmoil and animosity to negotiate workable solutions.

It is almost always better to reach a negotiated settlement of child custody issues because it will make the process easier on your children and result in more stable and lasting child custody arrangements.  Sometimes a highly contested custody dispute is unavoidable, especially where certain issues are involved including:

  • Drug or alcohol use or abuse
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Domestic violence toward a spouse or others in the household
  • Criminal offenses by a parent (particularly criminal offense involving violence or unsafe conduct)
  • Failure of a parent to protect a child from harm by a third party (i.e. new relationship)

Where these issues are not present, the more reasonable and constructive the communication between parents the less a divorce will hurt their children.  A child custody case that is negotiated effectively and constructively will also significantly reduce the cost of a divorce.  Our experienced Kansas child custody attorneys have provided some suggestions for reducing the adverse impact of a divorce on your children:

  • Avoid disparaging comments about the other parent in your children’s presence
  • Do not discuss issues of contention in the divorce with your children
  • Give the other parent the first option for providing “daycare” when you are unavailable
  • Advice the other parent of significant developments involving your children with regard to school, heath, religion and other significant issues.
  • Invite the other parent to your children’s extra-curricular activities
  • Encourage your children’s visitation with the other parent
  • Engage in positive constructive communication with your spouse in your children’s presence

These suggestions may sound excruciatingly difficult if the other parent is hard to deal with or your divorce is extremely contentious.  However, the more that you can follow these suggestions, the easier your children will adjust to a divorce.  It will also tend to promote trust and effective co-parenting with your spouse.  If you approach your child custody dispute with this type of cooperative approach, there may be benefits even if your spouse does not reciprocate.  If the court must determine custody orders in your divorce, it will look to the best interest of your children.  While a number of factors are relevant to this consideration, one of the things the court looks at closely is the your willingness and ability to promote and encourage your children’s relationship with the other parent.

We know that even basic civility can be difficult in the context of the anger and hurt that often accompanies a divorce.  Our compassionate family law attorneys will guide you through these emotional hurdles so that you and your children can get on with your lives.  The Kansas child custody attorneys of Koehn & Tahirkheli, L.L.C. want your divorce to be a new beginning rather than a bitter ending.

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