But there may be more to it than that. I believe that custody battles are so damaging because they deprive children of the very things they need most during divorce.
A “Top 4 List” of children’s needs during divorce would read something like this:
- An end to their parents’ fighting
- An end to uncertainty about where and with whom they will be living
- A return to some degree of normalcy in their lives
This is the first of eight child custody myths articulated by parents David and Laura Sherwood in the film Talk to Strangers.
“We do a pretty good job of insulating our kids,” Laura asserts two minutes into the film. Later on, we see Laura make good on that commitment: “You know we don’t talk to you kids about the case!” she declares, cutting off a conversation with her daughter Emily.
Like each of the 8 myths presented in Talk to Strangers, this one sounds reasonable enough… until we view it from the children’s perspective. Consider, for example, Emily’s dismay when she learns that not only can’t she discuss custody issues with her parents, but she won’t be allowed to voice her preferences to the judge either.