How Do Custody Battles Affect the Child?
Custody battles can be very bitter and have a significant negative impact on children. While kids are often quite resilient, they don’t have the emotional maturity to handle an ugly divorce, and many things can arise that cause lasting damage.
In this Divorced Fathers Rights articles, we take a look at how custody battles affect children and how the damage can be reduced or avoided.
How Custody Battles Affect Children
Alienation from One or both parents: The child might already be angry with the parents for divorcing. When the battle gets bitter, and the child hears the parents say unpleasant things about one another, the anger can become more intense toward one or both of them.
Emotional pain: Any divorce is painful to a child. Parents in an acrimonious fight often do things to make the pain worse. These include hurling accusations at one another, causing the child to fear that one parent might harm the other or making it difficult for the child to get sufficient time with a parent who has moved out.
Guilt: The worse the divorce gets, the more a child might feel guilty for their perceived role in it or for somehow not doing more to prevent it – even though children’s behavior is rarely a significant factor in parents deciding to divorce.
Having to give testimony: When children are questioned by the court about their parents’ marriage and circumstances in their home, the traumatic experience can be devastating to them emotionally.
How to Make Custody Battles Easier for Children
Here are proven things you can do to make the divorce process easier on children.
Do what is in the best interest of the children: This is a general principle that thoughtful parents can follow to diminish the pain the process causes their kids.
Don’t speak poorly of the other parent to the child: Don’t make accusations, belittle, call names, put down your ex, etc. If you feel the court needs to hear certain things, confine your comments to court and not while children are present.
Create as much stability as possible: Don’t threaten or make plans to move far away. Don’t pull the children out of their current school and keep them in their extra-curricular activities. Maintain as much normalcy for them as you can.
Choose to settle the divorce with as little fighting as possible: When the parents are less angry and emotional, it is far easier to consider what is in the best interest of the child or children. If this can be done through the court, that’s fine. If not, consider using a divorce mediator who can help calm hostilities and encourage parents to focus on the needs of the child or children they share.
Continue to provide love and security to the children: This is the best thing you can do to reassure children that things will get better for them, and that regardless of the current pain they are experiencing, they are still loved and cared for.
A bitter divorce battle has the most impact on kids because they are not equipped for it emotionally. Following the tips here will help you to be the best parent you can be as you work through even a messy divorce.