A child is easily the most vulnerable person involved in a divorce. Although the prospect might sometimes be tempting, a parent should never ever use the child as a bargaining tool during the sometimes difficult negotiations. If the child becomes a pawn in this game of emotional chess, alterations must be made before situations become irreversible.
Unfortunately, our legal system today still has a tendency to treat a child as a piece of property. As divorce has become more commonplace in contemporary society, consideration for the child's wellbeing has become more important. Still, by no means has the judicial system completely solved this dilemma, which is why experts agree the best resolution concerning child-related issues is usually an agreement struck out of court between the divorcing parties.
These basic facts should be kept in mind when reading through the Child Custody Section:
- The court makes the final decision, thus assumes full responsibility in order to permanently safeguard the child against acute or chronic feelings of guilt.
- The court will consider the child's wishes differently according to his or her age.
- In a situation involving more than one child, experts feel that it is usually best to keep all siblings together with respect to the custody arrangements.
- Divorce splits the bond of husband and wife, and custody splits the bond of parenting.
- A custody dispute is more likely to be more difficult than the divorce itself, because the bond of parenting is typically stronger than that of marriage.
Most importantly, each and every family is unique, with very distinctive needs and desires that must be kept at the forefront of any and all considerations.