Disparaging the Other Parent: A Word to the Wise

- Gary E. Williams

While all may seem fair in love and war, it is not. The presence of children during a divorce proceeding means each parent must take the high road. Unfortunately, there is no end to the low behavior that accompanies some divorces.

Even an amicable divorce gives rise to fear and frustration when child custody is discussed. Where once life with your child was a certainty, now it is likely your child will be living under another roof, at least part of the time.

While most adults deal with the uncertainty and accept the vagaries and disappointments of divorce, some openly battle their spouse, or covertly tear him or her down through mean-spirited remarks and other efforts to lower his or her esteem in the eyes of the child.

During a contested custody case, Florida law gives the court authority to make decisions about child custody. Several factors used by a court to make a decision relate directly to the ability of one parent to support the other including:

  • The ability of each parent to consider, act upon and meet the needs of their child as opposed to their own needs
  • The ability and capacity of each parent to support and encourage a good relationship between the child and their other parent, to keep to the parenting plan and to be reasonable when negotiation is required
  • The capability to communicate with each other, keep each other informed and to adopt a united attitude when dealing with a major issue with their child
  • The ability and demonstrated willingness of the parent not to disparage the other parent and to shield their child from information or knowledge concerning the legal process between parents

Keep comments about your soon-to-be-ex positive and always retain skilled divorce counsel.