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.
A forensic accountant can be brought into play if the parties are willing and able to spend the money to have an accountant go through all their personal belongings and bank records. Of course one party will say that the other party is hiding assets or is not working as hard as they should. All of this can be evaluated through proper channels if necessary. However, why must parties go through this agonizing and terrifying money expenditure when they can come together and agree to most items on laundry list of divorcing issues.
As for custody the same rule applies most of the issues regarding parenting schedule can be resolved. However, everything always comes up regarding the other parents ability to parent and their lifestyle is not suitable according to the other parents conditions which are arbitrarily set after the divorce process has begun. I think looking at prior custody arrangements prior to the split amongst the parents is the only way to determine a clear vision of how a custody arrangement may go. That is not to say change is necessary to implement a frequent and continuous contact for both parents.
Parents should really try to work things out together rather resort to attacking the other parent and creating such hate and animosity that there is no real healthy way to work out the divorce without a long and drawn out fight. Mediation and therapy are the linchpins to a smooth divorce where all issues can be worked out without stepping in front of a judge. If all else fails then you can go to court but expect the unexpected because judges never give you everything you want.