Today I heard about an accident that happened to a little boy when he was with his Dad for the weekend. Dad took his son out on a 4 wheeler. The son, who is 10, rolled his ATV and seemed fine, but later when he got home to Mom’s house, he started vomiting and getting sleepy and complained of a headache. Mom took him to the ER where it was determined her son had a skull fracture.
While I, personally, don’t think a 10 year old should be riding his own ATV, there is no law against it. It may possibly be that this is how the dad has fun and wants to share that with his son. I do not know what happened when Mom let the Dad know the diagnosis, but I am hopeful that the father felt upset and appropriately concerned about his son.
This is serious. I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of this child’s injury, but I would ask people to consider some things when sitting in judgment of another. Plus, I certainly hope that Mom did not blame Dad and threaten to take Dad to court or keep him away from his child or anything like that.
One thing I will tell people is to keep things in perspective. Usually when an event such as a child’s injury happens when the child is in the care of the other parent, the parent who was not there goes ape shit crazy. Sometimes they threaten to go to court for sole custody. Sometimes they threaten to have visits supervised. I would ask you to take pause and think about the consequences of that. What would then happen is a lengthy court battle, lots of intrusive court authorities on your case, and yes, for the parent who was not even involved in the accident, too. This will bring a lot of misery for both parents and the child, as well.
Now think about that same event if the two parents were still married. Yes, they would both be upset, but odds are that the other parent would not threaten to move out and take the child with them. Not in the case of an accident. It would be seen for what it was, an accident. Most likely the Mom would know that the Dad has fun using his ATVs and that she would have never stopped him from sharing that with his son under any circumstance. What would the reaction be in a two parent household and you were not divorced or divorcing and had never hired a lawyer for anything in your life? You would NOT call a lawyer if an accident happened in the two parent household. You would be with your son while he was recuperating and thank your lucky stars that your child will be OK.
Now I am not saying that a parent should not be concerned about what happens to a child at the other parent’s home. There is a big difference between a true accident and when a parent, God forbid, throws a child across the room, leaves marks on the child repeatedly or drives drunk when the children are in the car with them. In those cases, you must definitely call the police and use the Family Court remedies that are available. In keeping things in perspective, I would hope that if you were in a two parent household where these abuses occurred, that you would intervene appropriately in that case, too. Your responsibility is always to your child. These abusive situations are what the Family Court is for and not for an overreaction to a one time situation.
Sometimes bad things will happen. They could happen when the child is with you. If an accident happened then, would you want the other parent to attack you with court? Would you want them to try and take your child away or stop you from seeing your child? No, you would not.
The best thing to do is do unto others as they would do unto you. The Family Court would see so many less people if everyone took pause before taking legal action and considered how they would react to things if they had never experienced anything in the Family Court system. My basic warning to you is, look before you leap.