North Carolina families all have their issues that they must contend with now and then. Of course, some families have greater problems than others, and you may have felt that your family would be better off if you and your spouse got a divorce. Perhaps your spouse has personal issues that make it nearly impossible for your family to function properly.
Though teens, or other individuals on dramatic television shows that depict fairly average households, tend to throw the phrase “dysfunctional family” around, it is important to remember that dysfunctional families truly exist. In many cases, these family dynamics can result in the children suffering because one or both parents put their feelings and desires above those of the children. If you believe this applies to your family, child custody must be your main focus in your pending divorce.
Why are dysfunctional families harmful?
As mentioned, all families have their issues, but dysfunctional families have issues that go beyond those that could find a remedy through communication or explanation. Some signs that a family may have a level of dysfunction include the following:
- One or both parents are cold or unaffectionate toward the children, often taking an authoritarian parenting style to the extreme.
- One or both parents have abusive tendencies, which could include physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse.
- One or both parents have substance abuse or addiction issues that they choose not to address, which causes the parent or parents to put the addiction above the needs of the children.
In these scenarios, a parent could constantly blame a child for the problems of the household rather than taking responsibility him- or herself. The parent or both parents could deprive their children of basic necessities, such as food or clothing. The parent or parents may also tell the children to keep what happens in the house a secret or that they will receive punishment if they tell others what goes on at home.
If you believe that your spouse is contributing to the dysfunction of your family, it could have fueled your desire for divorce. You may also feel that you should receive sole custody of your children in hopes of keeping them in a stable and loving environment and away from any abusive tendencies of the other parent. Pursuing sole custody is not an easy task, and you will likely need to prove to the court why you believe such an arrangement is best.