Courtney H. Smith | Charlotte, N.C. Family Law Attorney
When it comes to matters involving custody and co-parenting, I regularly advise my clients that as long as your decision is in the best interests of your child, you will make the right decision. However, I have done this long enough to recognize that parents easily disagree on what is in their child’s best interests.
Making a decision based on the best interests of your child will mean that there are times you have to personally sacrifice. You should be willing to prioritize your child’s needs over your own because it is not about you; nor is it about the other parent, it is about your child.
Recently, I received a call from a client to discuss an upcoming event at his son’s preschool. The dilemma he shared is actually a prime example of what it means to make decisions based on your child’s best interests. The child gave handmade invitations to his mother (my client’s former wife) and his step-mother (my client’s current wife) to attend a Mother’s Day party. Naturally, both the mother and step-mother wanted to be there and support the child. The mother of the child wrote to my client expressing her preference that the step-mother not be in attendance. My client wanted his wife to be there; of course, because she has a close and loving relationship with the child. However, the child’s mother and step-mother do not get along very well. My question to the client was, “If both mother and step-mother are at this event, what will the experience be for your son? Will he see two people he loves modeling appropriate adult behavior? Will he be at ease and comfortable?” After some contemplation, my client decided it would ultimately not be best for the child if his wife attended the event. That was a very difficult decision to make because my client felt as though the child’s mother was controlling the situation. Even though it was not easy, since the decision focused on what was best for the child, it was the right decision.
Courtney Hamer Smith is a Board Certified Specialist in Family Law. If you have any questions about your family law matter, contact us to schedule a consultation.