Parents going through a divorce typically have several emotions and difficult decisions to deal with as they separate. However, the most important issue in a divorce is the wellbeing of the children involved. Being a good parent doesn't end when a marriage ends. Even though there may be child support ordered, there can be much more that a parent can do to support the health and happiness of a child.
An American Psychiatric Association panel has just completed an examination of what is called parental alienation. The concept is focused around how one parent can often try to turn a child against another parent when the couple is separated or divorced. In California, as well as elsewhere in the nation, this often occurs in the context of a battle over child custody. The psychiatrists were debating whether parental alienation should be officially listed as a mental disorder, as some had advocated, and ultimately declined to do so.
The parents of a five-year-old girl were divorced years ago. As part of their divorce settlement agreement, the girl's mother was granted primary child custody. Since then, however, the appropriateness of the mother's parenting has come into question -- not just by the girl's father, but also by many others as a result of the TV reality show "Toddlers and Tiaras."
Now that the Olympics have come to a close, people are reflecting on all the gold medal moments and times of despair that make the event so fascinating. At the end of the day, though, it is important to remember that many of these athletes and their families have had to deal with other obstacles that had nothing to do with times, scores or deductions. Many have had the same struggles and family law concerns that other people in California and elsewhere have had to deal with.
Parents who are trying to work out an arrangement involving child custody have a lot to think about. On the one hand, they want to have as much time as possible with their children. On the other hand, California courts prefer that both parents stay active in a child's life. Balancing these two factors can be difficult. However, with a little flexibility and a willingness to compromise, parents can come up with a custody arrangement that benefits everyone.
Any couple going through a divorce is faced with making some very difficult decisions. Couples with children face even more difficult and often emotionally-charged decisions as they must deal with child custody, visitation and support matters. What's more, parents often feel a tremendous amount of guilt related to what affect their divorce will have on their children.