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Preserving family memories during a child custody case

When Texas parents are unable to see eye-to-eye on how to divide parenting time after a divorce, the matter often goes before a judge. This can be a very difficult time for all involved, and child custody cases are among the most contentious forms of family law. During this period of time, both parents and children can be placed under a great deal of stress, and parents can often make choices that are based more in the emotional now, rather than in an objective tomorrow.

Specifically, parents who are embroiled in a child custody case often hold so much animosity toward their spouse that they are unable to help their children preserve memories of the family as an intact unit. Some parents will only focus on the negatives, and will refuse to discuss happier times with their kids. Others will go so far as to make damaging statements, such as telling a child that his or her parents never loved one another.

While having a strong emotional response is understandable, it is important for parents to remember that their soon-to-be ex is and always will be their child's other parent. It is never appropriate to cause harm to a child's memories of the family as it used to be, and doing so can lead to a great deal of damage. Parents would be better served to take their energy and redirect it toward negotiating a fair division of parenting time.

In many cases, Texas parents who react to a child custody case in a negative manner are simply reacting to the stress and fear that can surround a divorce. This will be a time of significant changes, but not all of those changes will be negative. It is important for parents to talk with their kids about the family's good times and to bolster positive memories whenever possible. This is not to say that a parent should not fight for a fair share of parenting time; it is simply placing the needs of the child above contention between parents.

Source: leavenworthtimes.com, "How (and why) to stop divorce from ruining your kids' happy memories", Gary & Joy Lundberg, Sept. 10, 2015

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