“My marriage has fallen apart…I must be a failure as a spouse.” Perhaps that thought that has run through your head while enduring the divorce process. These intrusive thoughts have a name: cognitive distortion. They are inaccurate, overly broad thoughts that reinforce negative thinking. It is thought that people developed these distortions as a coping mechanism for negative events they experience. An interesting evolutionary theory suggests that early in human history it was a useful shortcut to analyzing for threats, thereby increasing the likelihood of survival. Obviously in the modern age, this quick-thinking threat analysis has much reduced benefit. Some common types of distortions are below: Continue reading →
The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Each year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (“NAMI”) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. For the year 2021, the message “You Are Not Alone” is the amplifying theme for the month. This theme is relevant now more than ever, given that the resounding impacts of COVID-19 have left many people feeling isolated and alone during these challenging times. Mental illness affects every aspect of a person’s life, especially if that person is facing divorce and/or a child custody battle. Although it can be difficult to talk about, sharing your struggles with others to get the help you need will be highly beneficial for your family law case. Continue reading →
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and here at Woodruff Family Law Group, we are cognizant that the ongoing pandemic has caused much harm to our collective mental health. The school closures and loneliness associated with social distancing are major factors. A remarkable Harvard study following 224 children found that 66% of the children were showing clinical signs of depression or anxiety. Similar studies in Europe and Asia also show the same trend: COVID-19 likely contributes to rising depression and anxiety rates. It is an alarming trend that may not be visible on the surface. Continue reading →
Parental alienation syndrome is a psychological disorder that arises when one parent, whether consciously or unconsciously, engages in conduct that creates a divide between a child and a parent. Psychology Today lists many side effects that children suffer as a result of parental alienation, such as low self-esteem, lack of trust, depression, and substance abuse. Parental alienation often occurs in contentious custody or divorce suits where one parent carries ongoing animosity toward the other parent. Parental alienation may also occur through the actions of stepparents or other family members. Continue reading →
In re NNB, COA 19-261 (Unpublished opinion)
The family courts in North Carolina operate under one abiding principle: the best interest of the child. This overarching concept takes precedence over every other consideration and can produce unexpected results. This article discusses a recent case in our county in which a father wanted custody of his minor child, but circumstances were not good for his case. Continue reading →
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that fear and anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak can be overwhelming and can cause increased emotional issues in both adults and children. People that may experience greater levels of stress include those who are at higher risk due to chronic diseases, children and teens that may not be able to understand the disease process, front line emergency and healthcare workers, and people that suffer from mental health or substance abuse issues. The added stress during the pandemic can include increased fear and worry about their own or a loved one’s health, changes in sleeping or eating habits, problems with concentration, loss of sleep, worsening chronic mental or physical health problems, or increased use of alcohol and/or drugs.
I have a two year old daughter and the mother and I are facing a custody trial. The mother, in my opinion, has some mental disorders and has been treated for long-term depression. The mother breast fed, and mother and daughter are close. I feel, however, that I am the better custodial parent. Will the daughter’s age and sex keep me from being a custodial parent until she is older? Will the court listen to me, or am I just out of luck until my daughter is older?