The BEST thing you can do for your CHILD…

In Family Law the “best interest of the child” is the paramount concern for the Court.  When parents are feuding over custody, or child related matters, the Court is charged with deciphering what is in the best interest of the child by determining the facts of a particular situation and how those facts relate to a list of certain factors.  This is called an Albright Analysis (previously blogged).

However,  while this may result in the Court determining which parent is in the best interest of the child- it only ultimately results in a comparison of the two and does not indicate what act/actions are in the best interest of the child.  In English, this means the Court picks the better parent, but it does not automatically mean that the favored parent is a great parent.  Rather it just means they were better than the alternative.

So, what is a great parent?  A parent that reads to their young child, provides for their education, health and general welfare.  A parent that has fun with their child and encourages creative thinking and activities.  Well, yes.  All of these are factors in good parenting.

But what is the best thing that YOU can do for your child?  Love them. Sure, but in addition, LOVE the other parent.

What?  That creep?  Yes.  Loving the other parent means you make sure the other parent is in that child’s life in a meaningful way.  Loving the other parent means you are not denigrating them to the child or others.  Loving the other parents means you do not do anything to cause your child to not love the other parent.

I see the opposite too much!  One parent hates the other.  They try to punish the other parent by restricting their access to the child. This is wrong. (There may be circumstances that warrant this, but they are rare and are usually temporary.)

What is the BEST thing you, as a parent, can do for your Child?   LOVE the other parent enough to let them have a relationship with the child.

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You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@BowTieLawyer.ms

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It’s “ok” to LIE to your Children.

It never fails.  One of the aggrieved parties to a divorce tells the dirty details to the child regarding the other parent.  This is never appropriate or “ok.”  Never. Never to a young child. What about when….? No. Never.

But that parent, with their righteous indignation tells me, or testifies, “I do NOT lie to my child?”  My response?  “Well, what about the Tooth Fairy?

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We lie to our children a lot.  A LiveScience.com article stated it better, “Parents Lie to Children Surprisingly Often.”  This article concluded that parent’s lie to protect their child and lie to preserve some semblance of innocence and childhood for their children.  These are all good things.

The Tooth Fairy question gets that indignant parent every time.  There is no good reason to spill the beans about the other parent’s misdeeds to the child.  You should be telling them that “mommy” loves them very much.  Not that she cares more about dancing on a pole with bikers than being a decent mom, even if it’s true.  When the kids are older they will realize the truth and appreciate you all the more for allowing them to have a childhood and to love their other parent, even if the other parent did not deserve it.

It’s okay to lie to your children.  Who says so? Me, a divorce attorney.

Disagree? Tell me why in comments or via email.

 

Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi and believes sometimes lying to your children is in their best interests.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

 

The Great Debate? Not in Court.

If you or I answered questions in Court like the presidential candidates do at the recent town hall debate we would be running the risk of being held in Contempt!

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In Court parties/witnesses must answer the question asked.  It is preferred that the answer be “yes” or “no” and then an explanation offered if necessary.  Obviously if it’s not a “yes or no question,” answer the question asked.  This can be very difficult to do and takes practice to get this right.  One of the things that can aid this is to practice or rehearse the actual questions with your attorney.  By way of example, one of the candidates was asked does the Dept of Energy consider its role to work to reduce gas prices.  The answer given was not “yes” or “no.”  I am actually not sure what the answer was…and I listened to it.

If you find yourself in Court, not answering the question asked may result in the Court to conclude you are being deceptive.  This is not an impression you want to create.

Another thing to be sure of is to answer only the question asked.  Do not answer what is not asked and do not offer more than what is asked.  The best example I can think of is when a party was asked if they had committed an affair with “Mary” since the separation.  The answer was, “I have not committed an affair with ‘Mary’…since the separation.”  There was an awkward pause.  The awkward pause resulted in the follow up question of when did you commit your affair with Mary.  The party told on himself by not just saying “No” which would have been a completely truthful answer to the question asked.

Answer Yes or No.  Explain if necessary.  Sometimes less is more.

Matthew Thompson

Thompson Law Firm, PLLC    (601) 850-8000

Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com

Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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