People who once upon a time loved each other call us when they don’t anymore. I get that. It certainly goes with the territory. But the people who require the services of a family law attorney still span the spectrum from having empathy or sympathy or at least a desire to do as little harm as possible to their once-partner, to out and out loathing, spitefulness and hatefulness that can chill you to the bone.
Some of these people are close contenders for most horrific person of the year.
By far, the worst of these offenders are parents who use their children as pawns in their endless, ruthless battle against their exes and soon to be exes. They see their children as their possessions to be kept away from the other parent. The children effectively cease to have names, they just become “mine.”
Sometimes it is argued that the possessive parent sees the children as their meal ticket, solely existing to justify child support. But that isn’t the possessive parent’s motive. If it were, they would foster the relationship with the non-custodial parent because child support is more likely to be paid when the connection is strengthened between non-custodial parent and his or her children.
Sometimes it is argued that the possessive parent is covering for a deep insecurity that if the children get to spend time with the non-custodial parent, they will like that other parent better. But that isn’t the possessive parent’s motive. The possessive parent doesn’t give the children enough thought, enough self-hood to consider what the children might want, one way or the other. “Mine” has no independence. It is only “mine.”
We have represented countless, once non-custodial parents who were fighting just to gain some access to their children. I say, “once non-custodial parent” because the parents in this situation, if they can remain engaged and diligent, inevitably gain custody. The judge inevitably strips custody from the possessive parent because they prove that they cannot co-parent, which according to Georgia law is probably the most important quality in any parent.
The possessive parent is so self possessed that even a judge’s order, requiring the possessive parent to allow access, tor obey an order, is disregarded, scoffed at, ignored. “Mine” means never having to share the children. No one can tell them differently. They follow this self-centered lunacy right into one day losing custody.
And they never see it coming no matter how much it is forecasted and flashing in neon or in a rapidly approaching, self evident, massive brick wall.
But until that day comes, until the day that the judge says that custody of the children switches to the other parent, the possessive parent is mean, vile, vengeful, destructive. In short, they suck. And trying to work with them to see your kids is an exercise in patience, perseverance and self control.
So the message to the non-custodial parent who is facing an unrelenting, mean co-parent is never give up, never let up. Stay the firm and unyielding course. Your children are worth it.