Are schools safe for children whose parents are going through a contested custody case?
Now that schools are back in full swing, children are fully immersed with their friends, their classes, and additional activities. All of a sudden, their parents are no longer together. What’s worse is that they are getting nasty towards each other. Even worse, now they have divorce lawyers and are in litigation.
All the kids hear outside of school – morning, noon and night – from each parent is how the other is a bad person. One or both parents sometimes try to recruit the children to aid their cause. In particularly bad cases, a parent will try to alienate the children from the other parent, actively or passively.
These children crave the safety of school, away from their warring parents, right? Usually, yes. But school is not always a safe haven from their parents’ litigation.
If you are a parent and watching sadly as the other parent has intruded into the school, here are some thoughts to consider:
1. Talk to a school counselor. Explain the situation and inquire how best to inform teachers, administration, and guidance staff how your children can be kept safe at school, emotionally and even physically.
2. Talk to your highly experienced family law attorney and ask for suggestions how to keep school safe.
3. Don’t forget that children need to be safe on rides to and from school, as well. Parents trying to pick up children early from school, from the bus stop, or at child care can frustrate a child’s sense of safety.
4. Talk to a great child counselor. Did you know that experienced divorce attorneys tend to know the best — and worst — child counselors and therapists?
Always keep in mind the goal, which is to insulate your children from bad conduct by the other parent. Your attorney will provide an array of suggestions and courses of action, but you have to implement them.
No matter what else you do, keep your children safe at school.