Why there are rarely any winners in child custody proceedings

Divorce can bring out many different emotions in New York parents. When it comes to the part of the proceedings that involves who gets primary custody of the child, many spouses express their determination to “win” the battle and defeat their ex. While some keep the child’s best interest in mind, there are those who let their emotions get the best of them and focus more on making their ex-partner lose.

The determination to win can be an unhealthy mindset to have in this scenario. Even if you were to “win” primary custody of the child, there can still be several downsides that come from the process. It is important as a parent to be aware of these troubles so you can participate in the custody determination with the right focus in mind.

The wrong motivation

In high conflict divorces, many parents push the child’s best interest to the side and focus more on defeating their former partners in court. This means that the one looking out for the best interest of the child will likely be the judge. While a New York judge does take in a number of considerations, they are limited by their knowledge of the family and bases the verdict on evidence submitted to the court, which typically does not include every fact.

Additionally, high conflict divorces can drag on longer and can cost money that could be used for your child’s development. Even if you do obtain sole custody, it will likely not erase all of the potential financial and emotional fallout that several divorcees experience.

The child’s emotional state

The one arguably most emotionally affected by a divorce is the child of the couple. Most of the time, they are not exactly in a position to gain anything from the separation of their parents. Showcasing your burning desire to win in court is not going to help their situation as they could feel that you are treating them more like a prize than your kid.

Recent studies show that many children handle separation better if the parents have shared custody. While that is not a guarantee for all divorces, the study notes that the most important aspect of the proceedings is the relationship that the child has with their parents rather than parents’ relationship with each other.

If you want to be successful as a parent in and out of the courtroom, you need to prioritize your child’s best interest over any animosity you have for your spouse. Trying to minimize the conflict could be emotionally and financially healthier for you and your kid.