When you first got married, you probably never envisioned yourself standing in divorce court. Just as most other new spouses in Washington (or wherever you lived at the time) you most likely believed you and your spouse would be together the rest of your lives. Whether things slowly entered a downward spiral over time, or one sudden, unexpected major event occurred that was the catalyst for the beginning to the end of your marriage, it obviously became clear at some point that you were headed for divorce.
As is often the case, you may have mourned the loss of your marriage and worried whether your child would be able to adapt without too much emotional strain. Or, you might be one of many parents whose children have been in a bad situation for so long that divorce seems like a means toward respite, rather than a problem.
When things turn ugly
Protecting your child's best interests is obviously one of your highest priorities. If you believe your spouse has harmed your child in any way, or you believe that your child's visits with his or her other parent would be detrimental, you may feel the need to reach out for support to rectify the situation. You wouldn't be the first parent (nor the last) to do so. In fact, two well-known celebrities, Paula Patton and Robin Thicke, are currently engaged in an extremely adversarial court battle regarding their son, Julian.
Patton has recently come forward to claim that her former husband was often physically abusive toward her. She says in light of the fact that she has received information that her son's father has been delivering extremely hard spankings that have left the child fearful, she felt compelled to speak up and request a restraining order against Thicke. She also told the court he has serious alcohol and substance abuse problems.
Taking that next step
The custody battle between Thicke and Patton is far from over. The judge did issue an order stating Thicke can not come within 100 yards of his son, former wife or former mother-in-law. Thicke has denied all allegations against him, and his attorney told the press Patton is merely acting out of anger and making up stories to ruin Thicke's reputation. Whether you are the parent trying to protect your child from imminent danger or you are trying to defend your good name against false accusations, you can protect your rights.
One of the best things you can do to prevent angry outbursts in court and make sure your child's best interests are a central focus during divorce proceedings is act alongside a skilled and highly experienced family law attorney who has handled other contentious situations.