If you’re a parent who has gone through the divorce process before, then you might agree with this statement: child custody negotiations tend to bring out the worst in each parent. This can be due to a number of reasons such as heightened emotions left over from the initial shock of being presented with a divorce or the fact that you feel strongly about having a presence in your child’s life.
Whatever the reason, some parents may do whatever it takes to gain custody of their children over their spouse. While in some cases this may simply involve presenting evidence that shows one parent can provide a more stable environment than the other, in some cases the evidence may not be as substantial, forcing some parents to nitpick the other parent in order to come out on top.
Take for example the case of Rosie O’Donnell, whose divorce from her partner Michelle Rounds is accompanied by a contentious custody dispute over their 2-year-old daughter. At the center of the dispute is a disagreement about parenting styles, which has caused Rounds to talk to the media about her displeasure with how O’Donnell disciplines their daughter and the fact that she is being cared for by nannies. It’s because of this that Rounds believes the courts should award her sole custody.
Though it’s true that different parenting styles can generate issues between divorced parents because it could create confusion and frustration for the other parent, it’s important for our San Francisco readers to remember that courts here in California consider more than this when determining custody.
Here in our state, family courts consider what is in the child’s best interest. So while you might not like the fact that your ex allows your kids to stay up later than you would, the courts might not see this as enough of a detriment to the child’s wellbeing to award sole physical custody to one parent.
The courts will take all evidence presented by both parents before making a determination. Despite this fact though, if a parent does not have legal counsel, they might not know this happens and may even fold to pressure from their spouse. This could lead to unfair custody arrangements that may need to be disputed later on, this time with the help of an attorney to ensure the protection of a person’s parental rights.
Source: PEOPLE Magazine, “Rosie O’Donnell’s Ex Criticizes Her Parenting Style Amid Custody Battle,” Tim Nudd, April 29, 2015