As many Illinois couples know, determining child custody arrangements during a divorce case can be a very painful experience. Agreeing to a parenting plan can be exhausting and emotionally taxing, especially in divorces that are hotly contested.
Unfortunately, these highly emotional situations can sometimes cause parents to act in a slightly irrational manner. During a breakup or divorce, retaliation is often considered by parents as a way to get back at the one another. Unfortunately, this behavior often harms the people who are most vulnerable in a child custody hearing — the children.
In one example of retaliatory behavior, a woman learned that her husband was having an affair with a business colleague. The affair was a conflict of interest for the man and was against the rules set by his company. He likely would have been fired if his employer had found out. The man’s wife expressed an interest in reporting the man’s misconduct to the company as a retaliatory action.
Retaliatory behavior is not uncommon, and occurs with both husbands and wives.However, it can cause difficulties in child custody hearings. In the case mentioned above, the woman’s retaliation would have cost her family their only source of income. This would have seriously harmed their children’s financial well-being.
Retaliation adds stress and acrimony to an already stressful situation. Those who are in child custody proceedings should be sure, therefore, to avoid retaliation and any other actions that can escalate the issues they are facing. In particular, parents should avoid any actions that put their children in the emotional crossfire. This helps no one.
Child custody proceedings can be complicated, lengthy and emotionally charged. However, if parents remain courteous and follow the advice of their legal counsel, the process can be completed more smoothly, allowing parents to move on more quickly.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Retaliation Nation” Monique Honaman, Feb. 11, 2014