November 18, 2010

Overprotective Parenting – Impact on Child Custody Proceedings

The November isse of the American Bar Association Journal had an interesting article on overprotective parents.  The article says that psychologists are concerned that overprotective parents often leave a child without an independent outlet.  Interestingly, from a legal perspective in a child custody case overprotective parenting can result in two very different outcomes.  On one hand, a court and evaluator may reward the overprotective parent as the primary caregiver and the parent who has historically spent more time with the child, by awarding that parent sole custody and majority parenting time.  On the other hand, where the overprotection falls closer to parental alienation towards the other parent, the court may award custody to the other parent and limit the overprotective parent’s parenting time since one of the factors the court considers per ORS 107.137 is “The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.”  It is important to have an attorney in your child custody matter who can properly frame the facts to fit within the legal framework so that you can obtain the best result for your child.