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Divorcing? Keep kids out of child custody issues

Unfortunately, when some Maryland couples divorce, they involve the children way too much. They may try to get the kids to side with one parent by bashing the other parent. They may want to be the custodial parent so bad that they say hurtful things about the other parent, damaging the child's relationship with both parents in the process. The truth is that children need to be kept out of child custody issues during a divorce, and there are several reasons why.

A child is a product of both parents - 50 percent one parent and 50 percent the other. Therefore, when a parent badmouths the other parent, it is a reflection of the child. Children are often used as pawns in a divorce. They may be used as bargaining chips or to relay messages from one parent to another. Children need the support of both parents, especially during this difficult time.

While the age of the child and the circumstances of the dissolution could allow a child to know details and have input, in most cases, it is in the best interest if they do not know the specifics of their parents' divorce. Furthermore, it is often best if they do not read court documents or social media posts. The parents should not complain to them about the proceedings or inform them of every detail. A divorce is between the parents, and innocent children should not be involved. They have enough to deal with.

It's important to remember that each parent is entitled to visit their child. When one parent tries to interfere with this, the court will often become aware and make decisions accordingly. This could damage a parent's bid for custody. Therefore, it's in a parent's best interest, and in the best interests of the child, to remain civil during a divorce.

Source: The Record-Courier, "Do not poison the well during a divorce," Cassandra Jones, Jan. 30, 2015

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