A Child's Bill of Rights
At Rice Law, we believe that children who are the subject of their parents' child custody dispute should have certain rights.
Children of divorce should have these rights
Love & continued care
- The right to a continuing relationship with both parents.
- The right to continuing care and proper guidance from each parent.
- The right to an explanation that the impending action of divorce was in no way caused by the child's actions.
- The right to express love, friendship, and respect for both parents and their extended families (e.g., stepmom, stepdad): freedom from having to hide those stated emotions or made to be ashamed of such.
- The right to access mental heath therapists as needed to deal with the pain of the divorce.
Treated as a child not an adult
- The right not to be used as a messenger between parents.
- The right not to be treated as one of the parent's confidants.
- The right not to be asked to make adult decisions or involved in adult discussions.
Shielded from bad acts
- The right not to be unduly influenced by either parent to view the other parent differently and to be free from hearing disparaging comments and remarks regarding the other parent.
- The right to be treated not as a piece of property, but as a human being recognized to have unique feelings, ideas, and desires consistent with that of an individual.
- The right not to hear arguments between the parents.
- The right to be shielded from discussions concerning pending family law litigation.
- The right to maintain regular contact with both parents and a clear explanation for any change in plans and/or cancellations.
During the late 1990's, the Family Court often required parents to sign an acknowledgement that they understood that children have rights similar to those shown above. We encourage parents to voluntarily download and sign our Parental Agreement Regarding Rights of Their Child(ren) to demonstrate their commitment to shield their child(ren) from the effects of separation and divorce.
Rice Law considers these principles to be "best practices." In certain situations, such as domestic violence, the above child rights may need to be altered. Contact an attorney and/or mental health therapist for advice concerning the best approach for your son or daughter who is dealing with divorce.