Serving Sarasota Since 1973

Children in Divorce

In family law, we see good people at their worst. And they are never worse than when they use children as weapons. All too many people poison their children against the other parent or interfere with timesharing for spite. There are few things you can do in your life that are more reprehensible. Sure you feel vulnerable during a divorce; everyone does. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t moral limitations on what you can do to defend yourself.

If you think it would be okay to hold your children in front of you if someone threatened to shoot you, then you probably think it’s justified to use your precious children as shields (or swords) in a divorce. There’s no difference. Your true character as a parent, and as a human being, will be shown by your willingness, in your darkest hour, to protect your children from harm. Set aside your anger and fears and do what’s right. If you truly believe your children should be kept from the other, get a professional opinion to confirm your concerns before doing so. You can’t trust your own judgment in the midst of conflict. If the professional supports you, have your attorney put the issue before the court rather than setting your own course.

Remember that you’re going to have to look at yourself in the mirror when the case is over. Give yourself something to be proud of and be able to look at yourself, and your children, with a clear conscience.

If the foregoing isn’t enough, consider that your judge will take your behavior into account in allocating timesharing. In a recent case, the court found that the mother had “engaged in a deceptive and continuous course of conduct intended to thwart any relationship between the father and the child.” As a result of her “disregard for the physical and emotional health of [the child],” the trial court properly granted the father a majority of the timesharing.

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