You have probably heard that custody battles aren't good for kids, but do you know exactly how it harms them? It's easy to assume that your fight for your child's custody is good for both you and the child, but this is only true if the "fight" is kept civil. Here are some of the ways in which a full-blown custody battle may harm the kids:
The cost of child custody battles varies widely; it can be as low as $3,000 or as high as $40,000. Some of the factors that determine the overall cost of the battle include your lawyer's legal fees, fees for any expert witnesses you may need, and even the type of dispute you have. For example, if you are determined to win at all costs, you may be uncooperative during the negotiations, file numerous motions in court, and hire child psychologists to prove your point.
All these things cost money, which you can use in bringing up your child. Imagine how much you can do for your child with $40,000 in the bank. According to some estimates, a median-income family spends about $12,800 - $14,970 to raise a child in one year. This means the cost of your custody battle would take care of your child for two or three years.
Don't get this wrong; wanting to be with your child isn't wrong; it's every parent's wish. However, you need to do it intelligently, so you don't spend more than necessary on the custody battle.
Dirty Tactics Impact
Some parents employ dirty tactics that leave the kids confused and make them take sides in the custody battle. This isn't a good idea because it is best for a child to have healthy relationships with both parents. For example, the other parent may bribe the child with expensive toys or unforgettable toys and promises of the same in return for their allegiance. Others also make it a habit to put down the other parent in front of the children, which ends up alienating the children. All these affect the child's emotional wellbeing.
Damaged Cooperation between Parents
A full-blown custody battle can have a long-lasting effect on the relationship between you and the other parent. It may make it difficult to engage in civil negotiations, discussions or sharing of issues affecting your children after the custody issue is resolved. It sets the stage for perpetual distrust; anytime the other parent makes a decision involving the child, you may be reluctant to go along with them. Normal child-rearing things like choosing schools, making medical decisions or going on vacations may be difficult to do after that.
Consult an attorney like Lisa J Kleinberg early in your custody case to help you prepare a plan of attack with the least effect on your children. Your desire to be with the kids shouldn't end up messing up their lives.