Protecting Your Child’s Best Interests in a High-Conflict Divorce
New Jersey marriage dissolution cases can be both legally complex and emotionally challenging. This type of marriage dissolution case oftentimes is referred to as a high-conflict divorce. Many of these types of cases involve children and issues involving the kids. There are some tactics you need to consider employing when it comes to protecting your child during the course of a high-conflict divorce:
- Minimize a child’s exposure to conflict
- Do not use children as divorce pawns
- Do not speak negatively about the other parent
- Keep age-appropriate lines of communication open with children
- Understand the best interests of a child legal standard
- Seek professional support and assistance if needed
Perhaps nothing is more important during a high-conflict divorce in New Jersey involving children than minimizing a child’s exposure conflict. There is no reason for a child to be exposed to arguments between divorcing parents or any of the other eruptions that can occur during the course of a particularly emotionally charged marriage dissolution process.Do Not Use Children as Pawns
On a related note, during a high-conflict divorce, children should never be used as pawns between the divorcing parties. Sadly, oftentimes children are misused by divorcing parents to further their own agendas and to attempt to obtain some type of perceived advantage over the other party in a case. The stark reality is that misusing a child in this manner can have significantly negative, long-term effects on a young person.Do Not Speak Ill of the Other Parent
On yet another associated note, when it comes to protecting a child during the course of a high-emotion divorce, it is important to avoid speaking ill of the other parent during the course of the proceedings. Indeed, this admonition about speaking poorly of the other parent needs to carry forward into post-divorce life as well. As is the case with using a child as a pawn in a divorce, speaking negatively about the other parent to a child before, during, and after a divorce is never in a young person’s best interests. While you might gain some temporary gratification in speaking poorly about the other parent, in the end nothing positive can develop from such an effort.Keep Lines of Communication With the Kids Open
When involved in a divorce that features significant conflict, another tactic you need to employ to protect your child or children is to keep lines of communication with your kids open. Your child or children are likely to have many significant questions about the end of your marriage. You need to be available to respond to any questions or concerns they have openly and consistently.Understand the Best Interests of a Child Standard
Finally, when it comes to protecting your child’s interests in the midst of a divorce that features high conflict, you need to understand the best interests of a child standard. In New Jersey, the best interests of a child standard is a legal protocol that governs decisions in regard to children during divorce proceedings.
What this means is that matters associated with children, including major life decisions and other matters, need to be made with a focus on what enhances the welfare and wellbeing of a child. The best interests of a child standard focus on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a particular family and a pending marriage dissolution proceeding.
The bottom line is that in any type of divorce – conflict ridden or not – the interests of a child generally take precedence over the desires of a parent. In the end, a parent naturally should place the interests of his or her children above what he or she might desire within the context of a conflict-riddled divorce.Seek Professional Support and Assistance
If you find yourself facing or involved in a divorce, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen is here for you. Call our firm at (201) 845-7400 today.