Debunking child custody myths

Debunking child custody myths

On behalf of Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Custody on Monday, September 26, 2016.

Family court cases in South Carolina can range greatly in nature. When divorce and child custody matters include a history of domestic abuse, the judge will prioritize the children's best interests. However, the manner in which such issues play out might surprise the parties involved. In fact, there are several myths regarding child custody decisions.

Common sense might suggest that a child custody decision involving an abusive parent might involve placing a child with the non-abusive party and limiting visitation rights for the other parent. However, the emotional impact of going through domestic abuse and divorce could involve fear and depression that interfere with the non-abusive parent's ability to care for their child. A judge might deem that parent unable to handle primary custody. In some rare instances, this could leave no alternative but to place the child with the other parent.

If the non-abusive parent is awarded custody, the potential for continued abuse by the other spouse might still exist. In fact, ex-spouses often use their children to lash out at the other party in various ways. Examples include undermining the other parent's authority, attempting to outdo the other parent in terms of recreational or other activities, or failing to respect beginning and ending times for visitation.

During divorce proceedings, a parent's attorney might emphasize the emotional and physical needs of a child while advocating for certain visitation restrictions. Developmental needs might be substantiated by a health care or mental health professional as well. If there is a concern about the potential for a child being abused or neglected while in the care of the other parent, an attorney might request supervised visitation to ensure that the child's safety is not jeopardized.