Celebrity Matrimony Lawyer Anagha Nimbkar on child custody battles: It’s important to understand that these children are silent victims between warring parents
Along with growing concern around the rise in divorce cases, what has also been disturbing is that it has led to many cases of child custody and joint parenting. Celebrity Matrimony Lawyer Anagha Nimbkar talks about it. She also shares her personal experience of dealing with such cases.
“Child custody matters are the cases that require the most out of you as an advocate since you need to handle it with a certain intricacy. You need to thread a thin line between maintaining a certain sensitivity that is required while handling a child and understanding the parents’ right as well as the paramount interest of the child needs to be considered. It is important to understand that these children are the silent victims between warring parents,” she says.
Sharing a case history without naming anyone, she adds, “Honestly, there could be a whole case study I could mention on such cases. However, the one particular kind that truly vexes me is when a parent, just to settle scores with their spouse, accuses them of abusing their own child. Now especially for children at a young age, the constant conditioning of their minds into believing that their parent, who has done nothing but been and given the best for their child, is a perpetrator simply because their other parent said so. The consequence which is often neglected is that as the ages go by in proving his/her innocence, the parent loses precious years of the child while the child is scarred for life, thus being constantly frustrated and unable to trust anyone.”
There are some cases where the child struggles to be happy or differentiate between right and wrong as they are constantly juggling between one parent and another, she explains. This plays terribly with the child’s psyche as the understanding of what is toxic behaviour is lost on them.
Child custody is a most sensitive issue in case of marital disputes. “Our first advice to the parents is family counselling and to come up with a plan for joint parenting. We encourage parents to even let their child be sent for counselling where the counsellor can ease them into their parents’ separation. What a lot of parents may not realise is that PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME may not be visible, but has already left deep scars on their child’s mind thus hampering their overall emotional and mental well being. One must also understand the pertinence of not abusing your partner in any manner in front of your child. If your child does not feel protected or feels that abuse is a common happening in a relationship, they in turn would either turn out to be the abuser or be the abused. Only you as a parent can prevent that,” she says.
There are a few things that must be kept in mind while fighting for child custody. “It is understandable that separation is hard. But your child is not the one who has caused this separation. The urge to seek revenge for the pain you’ve suffered is strong, but you need to weigh out the greater good. Resolve your issues amicably and come to a mutual conclusion for the sake of your child. You spend half of your strength financially and otherwise for providing what is best for your child. Then why would you not at least explore this option for the sake of their mental health,” she urges every couple fighting a separation case to question themselves for the benefit of their offspring.
As parents one must remember that their child’s future in such a situation is at stake, shares Anagha.
“You can be the judge of whether you want to take away their childhood or let them enjoy it. Just because they are not a great partner does not mean that they are not a good parent. You have the power to make your child feel that even though their parents are separated, he still comes from not one but 2 loving homes”, she adds.
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