When it comes to children, the best gift they can ever receive is the love, nurturing, and devotion of both their parents. Since it takes two to make one of them, it is natural for a child to thrive happily with both instead of one. However, circumstances arise due to which it becomes difficult for either parent to stay with each other, thus giving the name to incidents like divorce, custody litigation, lawyers, and of course, equal shared parenting.
What Are the Best Interests of a Child?
Now you’ve probably heard multiple times how the judge wishes to draw his verdict based on the best interests of a child. The question arises: what are these so-called best interests every person keeps talking about?
The best interests for a child are:
- Stability in the form of relationships, environment, living standards, and finally love.
- A history of either of the parents making an effort with their child, like being involved in their lives, taking proper care of them, making sure they are happy and fit mentally or physically, etc.
- An environment that is suitable for a child with good families around and no signs of alcohol or drug abuse or other such shenanigans.
- Parents who are not abusers of substances and alcohol.
- Having the basic needs of the child fulfilled like good schools, education, food, clothes, health, etc.
All these factors and more are usually considered in the best interests of a child. So, when a situation arises in which custody litigation takes place, these are the factors a judge focuses on while passing the verdict. Yet somehow, reports have shown that children are never really happy with the court’s decision, or their pleas are ignored.
Why is The Child Not Happy After a Thorough Custody Examination?
As discussed above, the factors which are crucial for the final decision are based on the best interests of a child, yet they are the most deprived of these implications. The reason is that legally there has to be documentation, proof, or referrals to everything presented in the court. The majority of the time, the parent who goes out of the way for the child doesn’t have the legal means to support her/himself. Or doesn’t have the possible proof for all the interests mentioned. Or their lawyer isn’t good enough to navigate the justice system. In short, while the judiciary is based on fair treatments, those treatments come with a certain catch or price that a parent is unable to meet; hence the decision, while fair from the court’s perspective, is bad for the child.
What is The Actual Narrative of The Child in Such Situations?
A child is an innocent being who mostly doesn’t understand what is going around him/her when parents are fighting or going through a divorce. They feel confused when introduced to the concept of equal shared parenting. Their seemingly perfect life is suddenly out of control because the parents are only shouting at each other or living away from the other.
The best thing parents can do for a child is show them love and care in the form of a family, but yes, bad things happen. No parent likes the thought of causing discomfort to their child, and it is sometimes in their best interest to make such hard decisions. Every child has a simple narrative: they want their parents together; they want to love and be home-based on it. They want security and dependency. All of the simple factors are lost when a judicial result is made.
While cases like divorce or anything else which results in parents fighting a custody battle is quite common and usually necessary, it takes a huge toll on the offspring regardless of their age. If the child is 12 or above, then his/her perspective is taken into account, but younger ones are ignored in the decision process.
One way or the other, despite a careful evaluation, the child suffers; the only way for him/her to bounce back is if their feelings are at least validated and they receive proper attention from their parents despite having irreconcilable differences between them.