I recently came across an excerpt from a hearing held by a Minnesota Family Law Judge, Michael Haas, on the topic of divorcing parents. I read Judge Hass’ statement before as it has been circulating amongst family law practitioners for some time, since the judge’s statements were made in 2001. Despite being over a decade old, Judge Haas’ wise words will forever remain timely.
In 2001, Judge Haas had the following to say to a divorcing couple about their minor children:
“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.
No matter what you think of the other party – or what your family thinks of the other party – these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an “idiot” his father is, or what a “fool” his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.
That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.
I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”
In the spirit of Judge Haas’ words, every time you feel you cannot keep your mouth shut about something bad that the other parent has done, remember, if you involve your child you are basically telling him or her that one-half of them is no good. That thought alone should provide incentive enough to NEVER involve your children in custody and parenting time disputes. If the other parent is saying inappropriate things about you to your child, or involving him/her in adult parent related discussions, please share this Blog with them.