Protecting Children

It is important to protect children who have experienced the separation of their parents. We ask that our clients not make make the following Serious Parenting Errors in the midst of a separation or divorce:

  • Do not denigrate (talk badly about) the other parent or his or her family
  • Do not you use the phone, fax, text messaging, or e-mails as a barricade in your communication with the other parent
  • Do not make your child compartmentalize his or her life
  • Do not compete against the other parent for your child’s affection
  • Do not align other people against the other parent
  • Do not expose your child to adult issues. For instance, do not talk about your legal case with your child
  • Have not introduce your child to a new love interest too soon

Most good parents approach the painful issue of separation and divorce with the best of intentions. Parents often pledge to shield their child from adult concerns, safeguard their child’s tender feelings, and meet his or her emotional needs. Parents mean it when they say it, but legal proceedings can and will test their resolve. In the real world of conflict during a custody dispute between parents, parents experience loss of time from work, financial woes, extreme stress, and concern about the unknown outcome of their case. It is the perfect environment for anger and resentment. The person who often suffers the most is the one that both parties love the most -- their child.

In helping determine what is in the best interest of your child or children, Mr. Kelso has personally experienced raising children and step-children following divorce. He has also spent many years counseling and helping to resolve conflict between parents who are experiencing family difficulties. He has interviewed hundreds of parents going through the separation and divorce experience. It is often difficult for parents to gain a child's perspective on the separation or divorce. Parents are in many cases self-centered and living in denial of their child's feelings. Each parent wants as much time with the child as possible to the exclusion of the other parent. Each parent denies or fails to see what effect their lack of a child's perspective may have on their child's feelings. Children often feel compartmentalized -- feeling like they have no home or that they live in two different homes. As they grow, they feel they must live dual lives, a life with mom and a life with dad. It is hard for adults to imagine how difficult this really is. They are often required to keep secrets of what goes on at mom's house and what goes on at dad's house. The courts, in making shared or joint custody arrangements, often contribute to the compartmentalization of the children. Each parent is given a 100% independent life, but each child now has to divide life, sometimes about 50% with mom and 50% with dad. The child or children often feel confusion and a total lack of unity on any issue that arises between parents.

If parents are going to successfully raise children of divorce, they must be willing to shift their adult perspectives to what is in the best interests of the children. Mr. Kelso often asks the parent to take a child's eye view of their situation. If they can, they need to see the separation and divorce throught their child's eyes. A parent must see what is at stake in the shift from one household to two. A parent must identify basic parental styles and how they affect the way the parents will handle the children. Mr. Kelso will help provide a succinct overview of the legal system to help a parent find the safest way through, with suggestions for working with attorneys and dealing with courts and hearings.

Just because you have had difficulty with children during divorce does not necessarily make a bad parent. Even loving, well-intentioned parents lose perspective in the emotional turbulence of separation and divorce. It is always the children who pay the highest price. But separation, divorce, and resolving child custody need not wreck everyone’s lives. There are ways to minimize the grief, anxiety, frustration, anger, and dissipation of resources. If you know what to avoid and if you take the positive steps Mr. Kelso can recommend, you can spare your child and yourself an enormous amount of suffering. If you love your child, you can act in the best interest of your child.

Please consult an attorney for advice about your individual situation. This site and its information is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be. Feel free to get in touch by electronic mail, letters, or phone calls. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Until an attorney-client relationship is established, please withhold from sending any confidential information to us. The North Carolina Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

For more information call: 704-865-8684