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Fighting for Custody of Your Child

A battle that feels like war.

Being a parent is not an easy task, but being a single parent is definitely harder.

Of course, there are the daily routines of morning, day and night, and the juggling between the roles of mom and dad throughout those times. Sometimes it's hard to make it, but hey, there’s always something harder. Still this time, harder means a custody dispute for my 7-year-old daughter.

Here is the first complication: the other parent (usually).

In my case, I feel insulted, threatened, lied to, manipulated and defamed. But that’s not all, and here is the real ugly part, I feel my daughter has to put up with the same. She is younger and has to endure it too. I wonder how many times has she heard that her father is no good?

Of course, any good parent knows that’s not healthy for a child. It has to stop.

This leads me to the second complication: The judicial system.

Filings of documents, orientations, mediations, more filings, more meetings and yet, nothing resolved. It has been over six months since the whole ordeal started and everything has gone from bad to worse. Mental or emotional abuse is really hard to prove. It leaves no visible bruises, no cuts and the internal damage it causes is often misunderstood and as such, dismissed.

Maybe if the system worked a bit different, if the approach was more direct from the beginning, more humane and personal, less standardized, maybe if they really cared about their jobs and not just about making a living for themselves.

Anyways, here is the third complication, the most important one: My daughter.

How is my daughter a complication? Easy, she suffers, I suffer. All this court stuff, the counselors, the different stories, her friends at school. The whole situation is stressing for her. Every time she has to go with her mother, she spends 15 minutes at the door trying to convince her mom to let her stay with me, which most of the times, doesn’t happen, and so my daughter leaves with a sad look in her face, while on my face, a smile to mask my anger, pain and frustration.

Life can get tough on us, but I personally hadn’t experienced anything as difficult as seeing  fear and sadness in the eyes of your kid, asking you for help, and being unable to do anything—nothing but wait until he next court date.

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