Parents who are going through a divorce are usually under a great deal of emotional and financial stress. That time of turmoil sometimes leads to unwise decisions such as placing their children in the middle of their litigation. While adults usually realize what they are doing and stop, even a short period of being placed in the center of a parent’s dispute can cause lasting psychological harm to a child. Understanding the long-term effects of involving kids in a custody dispute will help you realize why protecting your children from involvement in your divorce is crucial. Protecting your child’s emotional health is one of the most important aspects of an ongoing custody dispute.

Damaged Parental Relationships

Both parents run the risk of damaging their relationship with their children by involving them in an ongoing custody dispute. Custodial parents who are stressed about their personal finances may try to prevent the non custodial parents from spending time with their children until child support issues are resolved. A noncustodial parent who is under pressure about paying support may independently decide to avoid the children until their financial situation is improved.  Regardless of their motives, parents who engage in these behaviors negatively impact their children’s relationship with their parents, which can lead to future problems in their other relationships once they become adults.

Communication Issues

Children typically engage in open communication with their parents that is only mildly affected by their desire for privacy or uncertainty about their parent’s feelings about certain subjects. Children who finds themselves questioned or pressured in discussions with one parent regarding the other parent may begin to experience difficulty communicating with both parents.  Constantly wondering how their words will be received or worrying about saying something they were previously asked to keep secret causes long term communication issues. These issues can impact their personal and professional lives in the future.

Feelings of Guilt

Parents who are upset or going through an extremely difficult custody dispute with their former partner may begin complaining to their children about the other parent or their situation in general. Eventually children may begin feeling guilty about being away from their parent or enjoying their time with the parent who is being accused of causing the family’s problems.  Telling your child that you are lonely or unhappy while they are gone, complaining about the other parent buying the child items when that parent is not current on child support, or even discussing being at the house alone while sick can all make your child feel guilty.

Resolve Your Dispute with Legal Help

Resolving your custody dispute quickly and efficiently will reduce the chances of your children becoming involved in the situation. The assistance of a qualified family law attorney at every stage of your divorce, child custody agreement, and support discussions can help speed up the overall process. Vayman & Teitelbaum is ready to provide you with the legal advice that you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our four Atlanta, Georgia offices so that we can begin helping you to resolve your case.