Seven Myths About Divorce with Children
Don't make your child a casualty of a custody war.

Myth 1: After Court, it's over.

A court may dissolve your marriage relationship but you will still be co-parents. That relationship will last the rest of your child's life and into the lives of your child's children. It's just the end of the beginning.

Myth 2: Let the judge deal with it.

A judge will only decide the legal issues in your case. Decisions will be based on the law and not necessarily what works best for you. Many co-parenting relationship issues are not even addressed by the law.

Myth 3: I have a legal problem.

Few issues in your parenting plan are solely "legal issues." Your on-going relationship with the co-parent and/or their significant other involves communication, scheduling, and day to day decision-making that affects the quality of life for you and your child.

Myth 4: This is a custody dispute.

Custody is rarely winner-takes-all. Missouri law assumes most children whose parents divorce will have "frequent, continuing, and meaningful" contact with both parents. Some form of shared custody is ordered in most of the parenting plans entered in the Seventh Circuit.

Myth 5: I'm in a competition.

Anxiety about the future can make us desperate to "win." When it comes to children, competition between parents tears their child in two. There are no winners. Parents need to work together in order to win together. Competing parents can get caught in the revolving door at the courthouse with repetitive court battles.

Myth 6: I have to fight in order to protect my child.

When the parenting plan becomes a battleground, your child is likely to become the first casualty of the custody war. Children are best protected when the parenting plan builds on each parent's strengths to create a workable business relationship.

Myth 7: If I can get control my troubles are over.

This could be true for a little while. In the long run, few parents have the resources to allow them to call the shots forever. Children adjust best when co-parents respect and support each other's role in their child's life. Parents who share decision-making avoid alienation, retaliation, repetitive court motions and other consequences that flow from "playing dictator."

What works for Kids:

  • Parents realize they have an on-going business relationship to raise their kids
  • Parents take responsibility for maintaining a good business relationship
  • Parents create a parenting plan that maximizes the strengths of both parents
  • Parents put what's best for their child ahead of their self-centered desires