Breaking Barriers and Parental Gate-Keeping In Divorce Cases

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsWhen married parents can’t sort out their disputes, they sometimes file for divorce.  However, as time passes, there can be new issues that happen, such as “parental gate-keeping.” Typically, parental gate-keeping is done by one or both parents going through a divorce, which is a hindrance to effective communication and co-parenting.

What Is Parental Gate Keeping?

Parental gate keeping is actually a term taken from psychology.  In the context of family law, it is basically defined as measures taken by the parents to protect their children from perceived, actual or manufactured harm. While the second category of gate-keeping can be justified, the last one is outright malicious by the practicing parent.

Combating Parental Gate-Keeping

•      Be Child Centered

As you have read above, the definition of parental gate keeping highlights the reasoning of its use. The use is to protect the child. When then talk is about a child in a divorce case, the judges will always look towards the best interest of the child. For that to go in your favor the strategy you adopt as well as your behavior needs to be child-centered, making sure that the child is kept at the center of your divorce case.

•      Keep a Watchful Eye on Court Order Violations

An order by the court is an important thing.  It needs to be followed and the judges expect nothing else. If you are able to see that the other parent under the guise of parental gate-keeping is violating the court orders, make note of those orders and put them in front of the court for them to decide.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”