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Child custody disputes: when it makes sense to stop fighting

Most Michigan residents have likely seen plenty of stories of Hollywood couples embroiled in bitter divorces and custody battles. While these types of high-asset divorces and child custody battles grace the cover of the most-recent gossip magazines, thousands of lesser-known couples around the country wage their own divorce and child custody wars.

The most-recent custody battle to grab national headlines is that of former Gossip Girl actress, Kelly Rutherford. The actress is currently fighting with her ex-husband over custody of the couple's two small children. In light of the fact that her husband's U.S. Visa was revoked, a judge recently granted full custody to the husband who was then allowed to take both children, who are U.S. citizens, to France.

Rutherford has taken her story to the media in hopes of fostering public support for the return of her two small children. To date, however, her efforts to regain custody of her children have proved fruitless. While it's natural and admirable that a mother or father would 'fight' for custody of their children, there comes a point and time when those parents engaged in high-conflict custody battles must step back and asses the situation.

In most child custody battles, the ultimate goal is to retain sole custody of a child and obtain adequate child support from an ex-spouse. In cases where an ex-spouse is bitter and more interested in 'winning' than doing what's best for the child, however, it may make sense to throw in the towel and cut losses.

Unless a mother or father believes that an ex-spouse is dangerous, it's often best for all parties involved to agree to certain child custody terms and move forward. Prolonging custody decisions wrecks havoc on the entire family and most importantly, the child.

Source: Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: Are They Worth the Fight?” Pauline Gaines, May 7, 2013

Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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