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What happens when parents battle over time with their kids?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2024 | Divorce

Divorcing spouses often have different ideas of what is fair and appropriate. Custody matters involving children can often provoke highly intense and emotional disputes. Parents may end up battling in family court because they can’t agree on how to share parenting time and other parental responsibilities.

Unrealistic expectations and intense emotions can easily worsen the conflict between parents during a divorce. Parents may approach the process with completely unreasonable demands. They may waste a lot of time and money fighting unnecessarily. Their conflicts can also prove damaging for their children.

What drives custody battles?

The unfortunate truth about custody disputes is that they often have their basis in resentment or anger. People use certain arrangements as a sign that they won in the divorce. Sole custody or retention of the vast majority of parenting time could be a goal someone sets because they want to win in the divorce.

They use their children as weapons to punish their spouse because they are upset about the failure of the marriage. What these parents may fail to realize is that the courts are unlikely to agree to their demands.

A family law judge hearing a contested custody case typically focuses on what is in the best interests of the children. They want to give both parents plenty of time with the children and to stay in their upbringing. When they see parents failing to act in the best interest of the children, that can influence how they ultimately divide parental rights and responsibilities.

That being said, sometimes custody battles develop because of concern for the children’s safety. Spouses know each other very well, and one parent may worry that the other cannot meet the needs of the children. Someone who has a history of substance abuse or an abusive approach toward discipline may not be able to parent independently in a safe and appropriate manner.

Some parents end up fighting over custody because one wants to protect the children from the other. In scenarios where the reason behind the custody battle is concern for the children, the parent seeking sole or primary custody needs evidence.

Medical records could help prove a history of substance abuse or violence. Police reports can also be useful. Testimony or written reports from therapists and other professionals can help as well. With the right evidence, one parent may potentially convince the courts to limit the access and parenting time of the other.

In most cases, even the bitterest of custody battles typically lead to shared parental rights and responsibilities. Understanding how the court handles custody matters may make a difference for those concerned about asserting their parental rights. Parents who set reasonable goals are less likely to waste their time and money in pursuit of impossible terms.