In high-conflict custody cases, many parents “use” their children to gain an advantage. When custody cases are a war between parents, their children are on the front lines. Studies show, not surprisingly, this is not good for the short-term and long-term health and development of children.
There are many ways a parent involves a child to advance his/her interests. The following are only a few examples:
Discussing the case with or in front of their children
Disparaging or criticizing the other parent to, or in front of, their children
Scheming to get their children to speak positively of them and negatively of the other parent to the judge or the Guardian Ad Litem
Blaming the other parent for their family’s current woes or for the divorce.
“Buying” the children’s support or allegiance through gifts
How can a parent going through a divorce shield his/her children from the divorce and the other parent’s self-serving behavior? Get the Court to issue a temporary restraining order and/or injunction.
A restraining order and/or injunction is a court order regulating someone’s conduct. Essentially, the Court tells someone “Do this” or “Don’t do this.” In divorce cases, restraining orders and injunctions are commonly issued to regulate parental conduct in order to protect children. (They are also common to protect one spouse or to protect marital assets). The following are common child-related injunctions:
No interfering with the personal liberty of the minor children
No discussing the divorce with the minor children
No questioning the minor children about the other parent
No criticizing or disparaging the other parent in the presence of the minor children.
No mentioning child support in the presence of the children
No using the minor children as a messenger for communications between one parent and the other.
Children should not be put in the middle of the divorce. Parents should not discuss the divorce case with them nor should they badmouth the other parent to them. A restraining order and/or injunction regulating both parents’ conduct are helpful tools to minimize the effects divorce has on children.
The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law in Chicagoland for 50 years. Please contact us at (630)573-8585 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
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The Botti Law Firm, P.C., conveniently located in Oak Brook and Wheaton, is a full service law firm that offers comprehensive legal representation to individuals, families, businesses and professionals from the Chicago area, including Cook, Kane, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kendall Counties, to the rest of the United States. Our experienced trial attorneys are dedicated to obtaining successful results for our clients, in both state and federal courts.
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