Child custody and other “fighting terms” encountered in a divorce
Words greatly influence human behavior. Kind words can soothe an individual in distress and demonstrate compassion. Insults, on the other hand, can invoke anger and hostility. Taken in the context of family law, there are some words that evoke a negative reaction and among them are divorce, visitation and child custody.
For the benefit of Orange County, California, readers, it is essential to break down why those words elicit such negative reactions. Obviously, divorce itself gives out negative responses since it involves separating spouses. But more than that, it could be because in a no-fault divorce – which California permits – underlying emotions and feelings are often not properly addressed.
Meanwhile, child custody invokes negative behavior since it is perceived as a “fighting term.” In other words, it is associated with control and power, especially sole custody, which is awarded by the court to a specific parent. Sole custody strives to give a parent care and control over the child. Similarly, while joint custody may seem like a fair and just concept, it becomes a fighting term when one parent desires custody and the other spouse does not.
Another term is “visitation.” Visitation rights can leave a non-custodial parent disconnected, limited and left out. Visitation can also make a non-custodial parent feel like he or she has an unnatural and awkward relationship with a child.
In an effort to eliminate the negative terms and their effect on divorcing couples, those terms are often being replaced with conciliatory terms like “parenting plan,” “parenting arrangements” and “time-sharing.”
Nevertheless, whichever terms are used, Orange County parents should remember that what is most important is the best interests of the child. Discussions and disputes should be held under the same premise. Guidance from an experienced and supportive family law professional may help ensure the best possible outcome for the child and the divorcing parents.
Source: Huffington Post “The Power of Words,” Mark Baer, Aug. 5, 2013