children playing baseball, child custody attorneyHardball negotiation tactics and attempts to undermine the other parent’s credibility when resolving child custody disputes can affect the well-being of children. An open mind and willingness to seek solutions that are in the best interests of the children are the keys to successful and healthy custody arrangements.

Best Interests of Children

As parents negotiate a settlement to their grievances in a divorce, they sometimes lose sight of the needs of their children. At times, they may even use them as pawns against the other parent.  To protect children from these abuses, Illinois, courts consider the best interests of children when resolving parental disputes.

Don’t Play Hardball

Parents who are able to put aside their grievances when negotiating child custody have a better chance of reaching a settlement that is fair to the children while protecting their parental rights. Courts typically see through unfair child custody demands. Those who insist on playing hardball may actually put their own custody rights in jeopardy.

Harsh negotiation tactics are not in a child’s best interests. A child custody attorney working towards a fair custody settlement will avoid unreasonable demands and will seek an arrangement that protects the rights of both children and parents. Typically, they stay away from hardball tactics such as:

    • Demonizing the other parent – Unless there has been a physical assault on a child, it is best to let the court determine the qualifications of each parent. Unreasonable character attacks only make the court doubt the motives of the attacker.
    • Unfair custody or visitation demands – In most cases, children have a right to interact and maintain relationships with both parents and their families. Attempting to deny them these rights may be considered a form of abuse and can backfire.
    • Exclusive parenting demands – Claiming exclusive parenting privileges, for things like discipline, education and social activities can deprive a child of necessary contact and nurturing by the other parent at critical times in their lives.

Parents First

Children are always caught in the middle in a divorce. Some suffer psychological trauma and feelings of doubt and guilt from the breakup of their family unit. Parents who resist the temptation to play hardball, and remember that they are parents first, despite the differences that may exist between spouses, are more likely to reach a child custody settlement that is fair to both children and parents.