What does hating your child’s other parent do to your child?

What does hating your child’s other parent do to your child?

By M. J. Goodwin


Contentious custody and visitation cases take a toll on everyone involved, even the attorneys. But the person who suffers the most is the child. I was in a mediation recently with retired Family Court Judge Barry Knobel[1], who advised the litigants that he “cannot mediate hate.” I agree with that comment and it caused me to further consider what parental hatred might do to children that live with it.

If you hate your child’s other parent, you are hating half of your child.   Your hatred will show and your child knows about it. I guarantee your child knows about it.

While I am not a psychologist, I have served as Guardian ad Litem in over 1000 cases over my career and have seen, first hand, what parental hatred does to children. I can state that I have seen parental hatred cause these issues for children: anxiety, depression, poor school performance, physical illness like stomach aches and head aches, nightmares, sleep problems, worry and even hatred of parents.

So the best advice any lawyer can give any client is to deal with the client’s hatred toward the other parent. See a therapist, pray, do whatever it takes to let go of the hatred and resentment toward the child’s other parent.

What is astonishing is that, without exception, parents come to my law firm and assert that they love their child. I don’t doubt that. But what they must do is love the child more than they hate the other parent. Once they can master that, then the child has a chance at good emotional and mental development.

If you are dealing with a difficult Family Court matter, you can reach me by email at mj@mjgoodwin.com

Email inquiries are typically answered within 12 hours.

[1] Judge Knobel is a talented mediator who can be found at www.knobelmedationservices.com



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