Oftentimes, and unfortunately, it takes one angry parent to initiate a custody battle. This is a very emotional process for both parties – parents and children. But, based on my experience as a divorce lawyer and family law attorney in both Bergen County New Jersey, and in Monmouth County New Jersey, I have personally observed that often children suffer the most. I am not a trained mental health professional, but below are some things that I have witnessed in my work as an attorney helping clients go through a divorce. Regardless of my insights regarding child custody battles below, it is very important that you reach out to a trained mental health professional in order to protect the mental well-being of children during a custody battle.

Remain Positive

As a divorce attorney, I can empathize with you and understand how stressful this situation is for you. However, it’s critical to gain your composure and find ways to remain positive during your custody battle. Make it a priority to work with a trained mental health professional to help set aside your own emotions and act in a manner that’s best for the child(ren). Think clearly and don’t allow your negative feelings about your soon-to-be former spouse to cloud your judgment. Again, remember to consider your children’s best interests. 

Over-Communicate With Children

It is a proven that children will often suffer the most during the custody battle. Their emotions can be all over the place, ranging from anger, confusion, acting out, or even more serious, life-threatening instances. To prevent this from happening, make it a priority to work with a trained mental health professional. Over-communicate with your children. Some people have made the mistake of attempting to hide this information from children, but that makes things worse. Children need clear, transparent communication from you and assurance that all of their questions and concerns will be addressed. 

It may help to communicate why the divorce happened and your plans after the divorce. Without speaking negatively about the other parent, maybe let them know who initiated the custody battle and why it’s taking place. During this transparent moment, possibly also let them know that you’re working to consider their best interest at all times. If they have specific questions about the process, and who will be ultimately granted custody, let them know you will work with a skilled professional to help with the process. 

Find an Experienced Mental Health Professional

A child custody battle is very heartbreaking for parents, and children alike.If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, a mental health professional can assist you in several ways to ensure that you get through this tough time When searching for a mental health professional, make sure the individual has experience and expertise, in addition to positive reviews and successful outcomes of situations like yours.


This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.