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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Wipper

Why should I give them more time? They don't deserve it!

I feel the need to set a disclaimer before you read further - the things written below do not apply in situations of abuse and neglect with the other parent. Please do not read this as some sort of "always" discussion - clearly if there are issues of abuse and neglect we don't put kids in harms way, period.

Why should I give them more time when they don't deserve it? As a family law practitioner, I hear this a lot. A lot. I often tell people that getting an Order for custody/parenting time is only one part of the battle. Fighting tooth and nail to get a court ordered parenting schedule is only the beginning of your interactions with your ex, and can become tricky and convoluted as your relationship with that person has disintegrated. You are both still healing not only from a broken relationship but also fighting and arguing and smacking each other around in court for months or years (depending on the case). So the question often comes up when discussing a parenting schedule - Why should I?!? Well, the obvious yet difficult answer is that it isn't about you. It isn't about you and it isn't about them, and most certainly sharing time with your children with their other parent is not a game to be played to see who gets more and who wins. These are your kids you are talking about - not a couch, not a game console, not a car - a child! When you are in a place to let things go that bother you about the other parent, your children win. When you can just agree to exchange times and not make World War III out of everything that happens, your children win. When you allow the children to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents, your children win. In the end, we all want what is best for our kids. Science supports the notion that a child that has both parents in their lives (so long as they are healthy and not an endangerment risk), do better in the long run. Now, no one is saying this is easy. I'm certainly not saying there aren't moments where you want to pull your hair out or just scream about what is happening; but how you respond to the other person's issues, provocations, and attitude has major impacts on your children.

While you may still have hurt feelings about what happened in your relationship, that hurt should not be used to hurt your children, even inadvertently or unintentionally. When you prolong cases and refuse to acknowledge that the other parent can actually parent your children, it hurts your kids. When you talk negatively about the other parent with or around your children, you hurt them and confuse them about who they are and what they can be. Don't let your hate for your old partner seep into your children's thoughts and feelings of them. Destroying their relationship with the other parent will only hurt your kids in the end. Yes, there are cases where the other parent should legitimately have their time limited because they are on meth, or are abusive, but those cases are the minority. Most parents seem to disagree about things that in the long run just are not that important. Do not let those things determine your child's future. Be bigger and better than that.

At our firm, we attempt to help people see things for what they truly are and attempt to find solutions through the worst of times that benefit your kids. Sometimes that means your feelings need to take a back seat and you need to be reminded to see the bigger picture. Hard truths are not bad for you and they won't hurt you. Let us help you through the difficult times so that you can get back to the good times and enjoy your lives with your children. Not all people are built the same, and not all lawyers are either. If you have questions about your situation, please contact us and we can help you with whatever that may be. Let us know what you think - we love hearing from you!

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