get called in when separated parents fail to agree over their children: who they live with, who they visit. So off I go to visit the first parent. Sad story: treated very badly by the other parent, who is despicable and should never be allowed near the children again. Then I visit the other parent: another sad but completely incompatible story. I feel sorry for them both. It is down to me to attempt to unpick which parent is lying the most. Sometimes talking to the children helps me find out, but you can’t ask them to dish the dirt on their parents, unless they volunteer it.
I try to mediate a realistic compromise – but if they’d been prepared to compromise, it probably wouldn’t have got to court in the first place. They are both, usually, adamant that the other is a complete nightmare. At which point I tend to think, “How is it only now that you’ve noticed that your erstwhile partner is the devil incarnate?”
Determining the truth about the allegations about the other parents abilities to parent are a difficult leap of faith and experience that must be dealt with in order to find a happy medium in custody arrangements. False accusations about the other parent are rampant in a high conflict divorce amongst parties. Child custody can be the most contentious as well as dividing property and determing the true income of the parties as well.