Over the past few months, the custody battle over Baby Veronica has captured the nation's attention in the news. Veronica, was raised for the first two years of her life by Matt and Melanie Capobianco. When the Capobianco's tried to adopt Veronica, biological father, Dusten Brown, intervened. The custody of Veronica is now being disputed in the South Carolina courts, the Oklahoma courts, and the Cherokee Nation Tribal Court.
With so many weighing in on the custody dispute, has the best interest of Veronica been forgotten? The parties recently filed a mediation agreement to determine the best way to raise Veronica. A quick end to this conflict is not only being urged by all parties, it is in the best interest of Veronica.
The longer this high-profile custody battle lasts the higher the risk Veronica will suffer long-term emotional and behavioral problems. High-conflict child custody disputes can adversely affect children for a lifetime. The continuing battle over Veronica is an extreme example of a child custody dispute.
Determining the exact effects a child custody battle will have on a child is almost impossible. The potential long-term problems children face after high-conflict custody battles include but are not limited to the following: intense anger, school problems, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, legal trouble, teen pregnancy, running away, and suicide.
Several risk-factors have been determined to increase the chance children will have long-term problems after a high-conflict custody battle. These risk-factors include: the presence of violence; the use of drugs by either parent; the change in residence and/or school; the absence of child friends due to the change in residence; financial hardship; being introduced to a parent's new partner too soon; and the loss of contact with one parent. In the case of Baby Veronica, at least two of these risk-factors are present. Baby Veronica was uprooted from her home in South Carolina, moved to Oklahoma, and has not been given any contact with the Capobianco's for the last 18 months.
For more information on child custody, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.