Help Children Thrive: Paradigms of Custody & Child Support

Session : Workshop 2-1: Innovative Assessment Instruments and Tools

  • Time : 2:30 pm PDT To 4:15 pm PDT on
  • Venue : Help Children Thrive: Paradigms of Custody & Child Support

Full Abstract

It is a virtual guarantee that all parents, if asked before thoughts of divorce came into play, want a future where their children can thrive in the love of both parents. It’s common sense, no one wants conflict but every year, hundreds of thousands of families are unnecessarily steered down the path of ongoing conflict, litigation and misery. Why do so many families get caught up in high-conflict custody battles? The financial incentive of custody, child support, commonly encourages parents to act for their own negative self-interests instead of the true best interests of the child. Emotionally vulnerable parents are too often tripped up by their pursuit of money, control and or anger and send their families down this unnecessary path. More often than not, mental health issues (narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personality disorders) help fuel misguided beliefs and inflame the harm for everyone involved. How do we help prevent parents heading down this unfortunate path? A basic chore is to change the paradigm of child support from one of “paying” to one of “providing”. Amicable parents figure out the provide model every day and they and their children are much better off because of it. However, it’s the less than amicable and or less emotionally stable parents that get tripped up by their emotions, bad advice or incentives to send themselves and their children down the long, treacherous road of conflict. To help parents stay on the better path to a brighter future, we must: • Place the child’s well-being as primary objective of child support, not the recovery of state welfare expenditures. • Establish a rebuttable presumption of equal parenting as a backstop to bad actor parents acting out of their own self-interests. • Allow parents to provide for their children versus of paying support to the other parent. • Augment mediation best practices with the emphasis on reaching conflict free parenting plans where both parents can provide for the children to the best of their ability. The best parenting plans are the ones without conflict where parents are respectful and flexible with one another to easily accommodate changing circumstances and needs. Respect quickly leads to supportive and peaceful co-parenting futures where children can thrive in the love and support of both parents. Changing laws and the system would help but most of all, as professionals, it is about changing mindsets. Parents must understand that they and their children are infinitely better off with an ounce of prevention (respect) then they will ever be with years of perpetual conflict. Carl Roberts croberts@splitsmart.com 303-810-5279