Behavioral problems in children are a common part of divorce. Children of various ages who are not sure how to process the news of their parents’ relationship ending may cope with the change by engaging in destructive or unacceptable behavior. Though parents are advised to deal with the problems together if possible, occasionally one parent will attempt to conceal the child’s misbehavior from the other parent. While every outburst does not necessarily need to be discussed, concealing major issues and concerns expressed by other adults could cause problems as the divorce or custody dispute progresses.
Open and honest communication between parents or the parents and the court is a vital part of resolving custody related issues. When one parent begins concealing a child’s actions it creates an atmosphere of distrust once the deception is discovered. A person who has gone out of their way to hide information on one subject is often accused of concealing other information. The last thing you want or need during litigation is a judge, attorney, and other spouse who view each thing you say or do with open suspicion.
Endangers Your Child’s Physical and Mental Health
During a high conflict divorce, children find themselves in the middle of a volatile situation as their parents battle each other for property, money, and access to the children themselves. Behavioral problems that start during a divorce have a tendency to escalate if they are not properly addressed. Your children may develop harmful conflict resolution habits while engaging in increasingly dangerous behavior. Concealing your child’s behavior issues robs them of the chance to receive support from both parents and other adults who are close to them. If your child is not aware of how much is being concealed, he or she may begin to believe that the other parent does not care about his or her wellbeing.
Hurts the Parent and Child Relationship
When a child believes that one parent does not truly care about him or her or feels that a parent who is concealing the behavior is ashamed of him or her, the parent-child relationship suffers. Children grow angry and lash out at their friends or teachers placing them at risk of social isolation that will further add to their problems. Parents and children who only interact when something negative has occurred have a difficult time establishing a healthy bond as each grows used to the dysfunction of their relationship. The reduced time a child spends with both parents as a result of a divorce and shared custody only makes it harder to fix a relationship that is seriously damaged.
Get Outside Advice
It is normal for a parent to be unsure of how to discuss their child’s problems with a former spouse during a divorce or custody dispute. No parent wants to risk doing or saying anything that makes him or her appear to be bad or inadequate as a parent. Protect yourself and child by talking to a family law attorney who has experience helping in all types of divorce or custody related disputes. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are dedicated to providing our clients with the compassionate representation they deserve. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at one of our Atlanta, Georgia offices so that we can begin providing you with the help you need.