Posts Tagged “children”
Are You A Divorced Dad? So What? As Long As You’re the Greatest!
Can a divorced Dad be a great father? Perhaps a divorced guy should also ask you, “Why? Just because you’re not does not mean you’re a great father.” It’s really such a pity that our society as a dead beat parent just because of he’s divorced. There are a lot of amazing divorced fathers out there and you can learn a lot from them.
Keeping It Close
You’ve got to admit that children suffer a lot of the consequences of divorce. From irate parents, to separation anxiety it’s a tough world out there for children whose parents are divorced or getting divorced.
Preserving a relationship with the kids needs sacrifice from both sets of parents. Both mother and father have to be able to set aside their differences long enough to inspect the damage that they have both caused to their children. More often than not parents get to engrossed with their emotional pain that they fail to notice that their children suffer even more than they do.
Studies show that when both parents make conscious efforts to stay close to each other have more successful and stable children. What’s more when parents separate their relationship from those with their children, they tend to create a more harmonious relationship.
A Formal Study
To emphasize the importance of a father’s proximity to his children, the State University of Arizona conducted a study of college students whose parents where divorced. The researchers observed personality, emotional and mental maturity, health, and even interests in school and success. The researchers found several evidences that supports the idea that whoever has primary custody it is adamant that divorce parents be in close proximity of their children.
The Findings are very interesting. Statistics clearly shows that children whose parents are divorced have healthier and more mature relationships when their parents make a conscious effort of keeping the essence of family intact.
61% of the kids involved in the study asserted that their mom or whoever had primary custody moved them at least an hour’s drive away from the other parent. One of the concerns expressed by the students was getting in between the crossfire. When they stay with one parent during the move, future financial help (like for college) lessened. Example, if they stayed with dad mom gives less when college comes, and vice versa. In fact the investigation showed that the 1 hour driving distance already had a negative effect on the children.
Emotional upheaval cannot be avoided, but a keener inspection of the kids showed that those whose parents kept them close have a healthier disposition emotionally and mentally.
All in all the study asserts that divorce does affect children. The way the parents treat each other and the distance they have from their children does have a significant impact that could determine whether the child succeeds or not. It is difficult to make friends with an ex wife after all that’s been said and done, but it will be more difficult for you as a divorced dad when in the future you see your children suffer the consequences of your action.
As a divorced dad, it is your responsibility, to your self and your children to make the supreme sacrifice of making the first step of keeping close.
In any child custody case, the court decision always focuses on the “best interests” of the child. This is a great consideration whether an out-of-court settlement has been reached by both parents and their lawyers or a custody decision is made by a family court. What do the child’s best interests involve? Read on to learn more about how custody decisions are made based on this approach.
Essentially, the best interests of the child means that all discussions and decisions regarding the custody and visitation of a child are made with an ultimate goal: promoting and nurturing the security, physical and mental health, happiness, and emotional development of the child. Usually and ideally, it is in the best interest of the child to keep a close and healthy relationship with both parents. However, maintaining such a relationship can be difficult in some cases, and this can get in the way of resolving a custody dispute. If you are caught in the middle of a custody conflict, it is important that you focus on making decisions based on the best interest of your children. This will definitely affect your children’s lives and your relationship with them in the future.
There is no standard definition when it comes to a child’s best interests. To have a clear idea of what the best interest of a child really entails, it pays to know the factors that are taken into consideration in many custody cases.
• Physical and mental health of the parents
• Age and sex of child
• Wishes of the child if he or she is of the right age
• Religious considerations
• The relationship with & support from extended family of each parent
• Proof of alcohol, drug, or sexual abuse of each parent
• Emotional abuse or discipline from parents
• Stability of the home environment of each parent
• The child’s adjustment to community and school
The wishes of the child regarding his or her custody have a huge bearing in any custody decision. These preferences can affect the court decision as to who will get the custody of the child. However, it still depends on the state where the case is being heard. Under particular circumstances, some states allow the child to have a say in the hearings. In other states, the courts have the discretion to determine how much relevance it will put on the child’s preference regarding his or her custody.
The child must be legally competent to testify in court, meaning he or she understands what the child custody hearings are all about and knows the difference between truth and lies. When a child testifies in court, the judge does not directly ask the child if he or she would want to live with the father or the mother. Rather, the child is asked in a conversational manner to talk about life in school and home.
Oftentimes, the courts appoint a attorney to represent the child. This setup allows the child to participate in the hearings without the unnecessary stress and tension of the courtroom.
In 1985 Dr. Richard Gardner (M.D.) coined the phrase “parental alienation syndrome (PAS)”. Dr. Gardner defines PAS as “a childhood disorder that arises almost exclusively in the context of child-custody disputes.” Primarily it is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent without justification. What is unique from Dr. Gardner’s perspective it that it results from the combination of parental programming or brainwashing and the child’s vilification of the target parent.
There is no PAS when true parental abuse, neglect or the witnessing of abuse, verbal or physical, is present. The child’s animosity may be justified, therefore, explaining the child’s hostile behavior as a consequence of PAS is not applicable.
PAS is only applicable when the target parent is innocent and has not exhibited abusive or neglectful behavior; or any behavior that might warrant the child’s vilification. Rather, in typical PAS cases the victimized parent is considered to have provided normal and loving parenting. At worst they exhibited minimal impairments in parental skills. PAS situations typically demonstrate exaggerated weaknesses and deficiencies. When genuine abuse does exist, then the child’s rejecting behavior is warranted and PAS is not applicable.
Parental Alienation (PA), however, refers to a variety of behaviors that may be associated with a child’s alienation from a parent. Children may become alienated because of physical abuse, sexual abuse or both. Emotional abuse by a parent may result in a child’s alienation. Children may also become alienated as because of parental abandonment. Ongoing parental disharmony, especially in the presence of physical violence, may lead children to become alienated. Gardner indicates that children may become alienated because of behavior exhibited by a parent that would be alienating to most people, e.g., narcissism, alcoholism, and antisocial behavior. Impaired or dysfunctional parenting can also cause children’s alienation. A child may be angry at the parent who initiated the divorce, believing they are solely to blame for the divorce situation. There are many other parental behaviors that can produce a child’s alienation, but none of them can be considered PAS.
While fighting a child custody battle may seem like a daunting task. There are situations where the father is indeed proving to be the better parent while providing the more stable and secure environment for the children. If you are willing to take on this fight, here are a few tips that can help you be better prepared.
- Hire the right Lawyer. Hiring the correct lawyer is the most important single action that you can take. Without the correct lawyer, things seem not to work out as well, no matter how much hard work you put into your case.
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses as a parent. List both the positive and negative points of your character and your ability to raise your children. Also, make the same list for your ex-spouse and try to be impartial.
- Decide if the other person may try to make false allegations. What would they be? How will you dispute any false allegations? Make a list of witnesses that you can call on to refute any potential allegations.
- Make lists of information for the courts of what you can offer as the better parent in benefits for your children in quality of life, from medical care benefits, access to quality education, with your plans for college education.
During a child custody battle, nothing can be more demoralizing than the thought of missing out on key moments in your children’s life. As a father, you may be concerned that your wife will automatically be given primary physical custody. While it is true that women are usually awarded primary physical custody of children; ultimately, the courts try to act on behalf the child’s best interest, and custody is increasing being awarded to the father.