Useful Resources

Protecting our children during divorce

It is often during times of divorce that we expose our children to the worst part of us. The content below was kindly supplied to us by Bronwyn Samuels, social worker in response to the request..please can you help us get some facts for our readers with reference to the avoidance of using children as pawns in an acrimonious break-up. Article to follow..

Both parents have equal rights to the child/ren. Both parents are obligated to care for and provide for their child/ren. Without a court order appointing one parent as the sole primary caregiver neither parent can legally assume or threaten to assume sole custody of the child/ren. Below are some more pointers on custody processes:

Things that can hurt your child’s custody case:

  1. When you refuse to cooperate with the other parent as well as refusing to compromise.
  2. Talking harmfully and badly about the other parent to the children and to the children as well having verbal and physical disputes between parents in front of the children.
  3. Preventing the other parent from seeing the children on their stipulated visitations without valid reasons.
  4. Displaying poor judgement and controversial problematic opinions on social media.
  5. Defying and not conforming to court orders and legal instructions.
  6. Not documenting violations and keeping records as evidence and reporting it immediately to the social worker or mediator assigned to your case.

When neither sole nor shared custody is preferred, the court looks at the following factors:

  1. Was either parent a sole parent to the child/children in the past.
  2. Identifying needs of child/children and establishing how either/each parent would meet those needs.
  3. Reviewing if there has been abuse by either parent in the past.
  4. Reviewing if there has been or still is substance and alcohol use by either parent.
  5. Establishing whether the child was ever abandoned by either parent in the past.
  6.  Investigating if there is a track record of indication that both parents have been able to co-parent in the best way possible to accommodate the needs of the child at all cost.


Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2020). Determining the best interests of the child. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau.

Turco, Damian. 2016. Can My Spouse Take My Children Away From me? Custody, Mediation, Restraining Order. Turco Legal.  Boston. United States of America.

7 Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Child Custody Case. Myers Law Firm. PLLC.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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