Dirty Divorce Trick #3 - Turning into a "Helicopter Parent"...at Least Temporarily
Imagine this : During a marriage, Henry Husband was an absentee father. He didn’t go to any of the events for the children, didn’t take the kids to school, never bathed or fed them, and didn’t take them to their doctors’ appointments. Miraculously though, when Wanda Wife files for divorce he turns into the most hands-on parent that the world has ever seen. This is what we call a "helicopter parent" as the parent now hovers over the children.
Wanda Wife is furious because she knows that while it would be great if Henry Husband would continue to be such a hands-on parent, it won’t happen. Rather, he is playing games to try to maximize time-sharing with the children. Here’s the kicker : Henry doesn’t actually have any intention of exercising the time-sharing he is trying to get. Instead, he knows that if he maximizes his time-sharing that his child support and spousal support obligation will be less.
Identifying if someone is attempting to pull this trick takes some case-by-case analysis. It is true that there are certain situations when a parent truly does want to spend more time with the children. Furthermore, there is a possibility that seeing that your family is dissolving, will renew the parent and make them strive to be the best parent that he/she can be. However, it is also common for one parent to be simply trying to do this for financial gain or minimize his/her financial loss. In this case, the Wanda Wife should talk to her attorney to develop a strategic plan during the pending divorce to show the true intentions of Henry Husband.
Remember, if a parent truly wants to be a hands-on parent, it is a win-win for all parties (including the children). But if the parent does not want to be a hands-on parent, he/she needs to be exposed so that the children do not suffer by having an artificially low child-support amount or artificial attention from their parents.
Be sure read our Ultimate Guide to Child Custody in Texas to learn more.