CUSTODY BATTLE MYTH #8: “Not everything about the custody process is bad—it’s better than lawyers doing it all behind closed doors.”
This is the final myth David & Laura Sherwood voice to rationalize their custody case in the custody film Talk to Strangers. They are about to learn that for their kids, everything about the custody case IS bad.
In the “exit interview,” with the fictional filmmaker, Laura dials back her initial confidence, conceding that the custody evaluation process was “a little more difficult than I expected” (19:56). The demands of that process interfere with the kids’ activities such as nine-year-old Nick’s football practice (04:47) and twelve-year-old Emily’s participation in an advanced ballet class that she fears will be jeopardized by a conflicting appointment with the psychological evaluator (8:09; 09:56).
Lawyers don’t negotiate parenting plans “behind closed doors.” In fact, most matrimonial lawyers would prefer that the parents work out child-related matters by themselves. And that’s as it should be because the most successful parenting plans result from parents putting aside their emotions in order to plan for the co-parenting that will continue for years after the divorce.