The breakdown of a marriage is difficult for adults and even more so for children. Texas parents worry about how things will be split equally, and the little ones are left to wonder when things will be like they used to. The separation of a family can be devastating, but parents can work together to come up with a child custody agreement that works for them and allows the children equal access to both parents.
Four children had been caught up in a bitter child custody dispute between their parents, and a judge ruled in favor of a controversial program called family unification. This particular program touts its ability to reunite children with an alienated parent. Programs like these theorize that if the kids can spend uninterrupted time with the absent adult, the relationship can be rebuilt.
In order for this program to work, two extreme legal measures must be taken. First, full legal custody is given to the ousted parent; second, the kids may not have contact with the other parent for 90 days after the completion of the program. What is alarming are the tactics used to get the get the kids to the program location: transport agents grab the kids and take them to an airport. They are then flown to another state to attend the workshop and are forced to spend time with the alienated parent. They are also told they cannot have contact with the other parent or that parent would be arrested and jailed.
Fast forward five years and some of the children have now aged to adults and are able to recount the events and feelings about what occurred. These events were terrifying and left the children angrier with the alienated parent. They feel they were forced to estrange themselves from the favored parent, and the separation has left that relationship in disrepair.
Texas parents deciding to dissolve a marriage may seem like a simple task. However, children caught up in a child custody case may not understand why and what is happening. The best course of action could be to keep the kids involved in discussions with both parents present. Using mediation to help disperse any disagreements may help to ease tensions and bring calm to rocky waters. An attorney can provide guidance and legal counsel to help steer the course of events to a more serene and agreeable outcome.
Source: The Washington Post, “A divorced dad, estranged kids and a controversial plan to bring them together“, Cara Tabachnick, May 11, 2017