Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Choosing divorce mediation for the children's sake

The custody battle that ended in a fatal tragedy is the worst news any parent in Worcester, Massachusetts, can experience. The story reported that a father caught in a bitter custody dispute with his ex-wife threw his son from a building and jumped afterwards. Now, the mother is left to grieve and says that she did not see it coming.

A parenting expert stated that parents who are emotionally distressed because of the divorce often forget to put their child's well-being at the top of their priority list. A divorced parent may feel that he or she has the upper hand if child custody is awarded to that parent. The parent may even use the child to negotiate divorce concerns. It is important for parents to be aware of the effects of divorce on their child and make decisions based on what would be in the child's best interest.

It is difficult to predict what might happen after a divorce. However, sometimes, there are early signs that a custody battle may turn violent. Often, those signs can be detected while the parents are still married.

Custody disputes can be so emotionally charged that a parent may act violently, which should not happen because it compromises the best interests of the child. Divorce mediation allows the divorcing spouses to find a common ground while discussing divorce concerns. Divorced parents should never use their children as pawns to get what they want. In mediation, the spouses are allowed to air their concerns and a divorce mediator can help them navigate what is best for both parents and children. Mediation can help resolve other divorce concerns in addition to child custody.

Source: The Stir, "The Most Important Warning Signs a Custody Battle Could Turn Violent," Lisa Fogarty, Dec. 24, 2013

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