Divorce system prompts bitter couples to use kids as weapons
Joint, partial, full custody: whatever the final decision may be, the choice will no doubt impact the lives of your children now and in the future.
Unfortunately, amidst the paperwork and court appointments, children can get lost in the mix and become pieces of the legal puzzle.
If you’re seeking joint custody, your kids will always receive both sides of one story and it is up to you both to keep them informed without involving them in the actual process. Keep your conversations between you and your kids honest, but never drag them into the battle for you. Always remember: if you have the opportunity to care for your children, make it the first priority.
The human tragedy isn’t restricted to loved ones of boldfaced names, such as Brangelina and Uma Thurman. As my friend Brenda learned the hard way, the epic hatred between her and her ex-husband, which played out in a long and bruising legal battle over the custody of their two sons, scarred the boys’ psyches in ways both awful and permanent.
Never again will they be able to love freely. Never again will they be able to trust.
“They absorbed the garbage flowing between their father and me to the point where they both have rage issues,” Brenda told me from her now-empty nest in New York City.
“One of them legally changed his last name when he reached adulthood. That’s anger. That’s trying to change who you are.’’
After more than three years of litigation left Brenda virtually impoverished, after the kids were shuttled across state lines between her home and her ex’s, she won primary custody. But at what cost?
She came to a bitter realization: The only parties to benefit from protracted power struggles between adults are the lawyers. Everyone else is roadkill.
The misery is showing no signs of letting up.