Child Custody Resolution With Compassion and Experience
Understanding Child Custody Laws is a Part of the Solution
Child custody is the most challenging part of a couple’s break up. Yet, each parent has the ability, the power within themselves, to make all the difference to his or her child's welfare during this difficult time. This power lies in your ability to put your child’s interests and feelings before your own. Although this power is the most difficult to maintain when you are feeling angry, hurt, and sad, looking out for your children's welfare first during this time is one of the most important things you can do in your lifetime and deserves your best effort.
The legal process of separating parents has specific goals. New Hampshire law defines its policy as follows:
Because children do best when both parents have a stable and meaningful involvement in their lives, it is the policy of this state, unless it is clearly shown that in a particular case it is detrimental to a child, to: (a) Support frequent and continuing contact between each child and both parents. (b) Encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children after the parents have separated or divorced. (c) Encourage parents to develop their own parenting plan with the assistance of legal and mediation professionals, unless there is evidence of domestic violence, or child abuse/neglect. (d) Grant parents and courts the widest discretion in developing a parenting plan. (e) Consider both the best interests of the child in light of the factors listed in RSA 461-A:6 and the safety of the parties in developing a parenting plan.
Within these broad parameters, you have the ability to define the tone of the process by how you talk to your child about the other parent, how you communicate to the other parent, how you listen to your child, and how you support him or her. We encourage you to read as much as you can about helping your child cope with your separation from the other parent. If you have to listen to well-intentioned friends and family, then listen with a "grain of salt." Never speak negatively about the other parent to, or near, your child. If you cannot communicate positively and cooperatively with the other parent in person, do it in writing—and NOT by text. Seek counselling for yourself, so that you have a professional who will listen to your concerns about the other parent and deal with the legal process. A counsellor or therapist can help you sort out your feelings along with appropriate ways to emotionally support your child and care for yourself, instead of relying on your well meaning friends and family—and especially not your child.