The advice of a Minnesota family law judge provided more than a decade ago has been recently quoted in a Huffington Post article. The judge was concerned that the parents would criticize each other in the presence of the child, and that such criticism would ultimately affect the child’s self-esteem.
The judge reminded the parents that the child was one-half of each of them and that to criticize the other parent was the same as criticizing the child. He also warned that the child needed to be loved and cherished rather than treated as a possession.
When family law attorneys argue child custody matters in court, they must focus upon what parent has been the primary caregiver, and which parent will provide the child a stable environment that will meet the child’s educational, emotional and physical needs. Every child custody circumstance is unique, and in some situations, sole custody will be ordered while in other shared custody will be awarded for both parents.
What parents too often forget is the goal of any family law matter that concerns children. The goal of child custody matters, child support determinations, and visitation schedules should be on what is in the best interest of the child. Some parents only consider whether they have received everything they want out of a contested divorce. Yet the most important question parents must ask themselves is how a divorce will affect the children.
“Think more about your children and less about yourselves,” the judge advised, “and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”