Law Office of David L. Scott

Don’t Bad-Mouth the Other Parent – Child Custody Modifications

Your divorce has been finalized and you are adapting to life as a divorced parent with the financial struggles and child custody arrangements that are your new reality. Your children are also learning to adjust to custody/visitation exchanges and living in two households. This can be difficult for children even when parents work well together. You may feel you need to vent your frustration about the divorce and the other parent’s behavior, but you should be cautious about doing so in the presence of your children.

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Derogatory Statements

Parents often deliberately or inadvertently make derogatory statements about the other parent to the children. You may not see anything wrong with telling your children the “truth” about the other parent but doing so could harm your children. Psychologist Leah Klungness, Ph.D., wrote in 5 Reasons Not to Bad-mouth the Other Parent, US News and World Report, February 20, 2017, that “bad-mouthing” the other parent is never the right parenting choice. Dr. Klungness opines the children may be harmed in the following ways:

Consequences of Making Derogatory Statements – Custody Modification

Each Tennessee parenting plan contains the bill of rights for parents found at Tenn. Code Ann. §36-6-101. Included in these rights is the right to be free of unwarranted derogatory remarks make about a parent or the parent’s family by the other parent in the presence of the child. Making derogatory statements about the other parent may cause you to be held in contempt of court or provide support for the other parent to seek a custody modification. The financial costs and stress of defending against a custody modification can be significant. Also, your children cannot unhear the statements you have made and this could cause irreparable damage to your relationship with your children.

Contact the Law Office of David L. Scott at (615) 896-7656 to schedule a free consultation if you need assistance pursuing or defending against a custody modification action.

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Our focus is on helping you get through your legal troubles. With more than 25 years of experience, we are committed to getting the best legal outcome for you. Contact today for a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!