We all like to believe that if we do our best by our children that they will remain safely within our custody. However, divorce and other forms of parental separation can complicate this hope. If both of a child’s parents desire to have full, joint or partial child custody and cannot agree on the terms of that arrangement, a custody battle may be inevitable. And though securing trusted and experienced legal counsel can make the process much more fair and predictable, there are no guarantees.
Recently, the media has been abuzz with coverage of actress Kelly Rutherford’s custody battle for her children. The details are not largely important to this discussion beyond the facts that Rutherford has not been deemed an unfit parent, is fighting mightily for her children and has allegedly spent every last penny she has trying to get them back from their father’s custody and his residence in Europe.
Rutherford’s struggle illustrates that even when parents are fit and want to remain solidly in their children’s lives that there are no guaranteed outcomes to contentious custody battles. These legal fights can cost an untold amount of time, money and emotional capacity. In the end, only each parent can know his or her limits, the best interests of the children involved and when to say ‘enough.’
If you are concerned that your child custody battle or potential legal conflict will push you or your children beyond your limits, please speak openly with an experienced family law attorney. Your legal counsel should be able to educate you about your options and help to support whatever decisions you ultimately opt to make.
Source: Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: Are They Worth the Fight?” Pauline Gaines, May 7, 2013