There is really no overnight solution to that situation. If you consider a 12-year-old child and you’ve got one parent who has always been working hard outside the home and has not really been around a lot, hasn’t been terribly involved with the youngster’s activities, and suddenly shows up for a month and says, “OK, I’m ready to take on primary parenting responsibility,” you can certainly visualize how that isn’t going to suddenly work.
Even if the parent is able to fool the judge, Guardian ad Litem, lawyers that are involved, and physiologist that might get appointed and the physiatrist, that parent isn’t going to be able to fool the children that are involved. If the Guardian ad Litem or the evaluation physiologist does an interview with the kids, the truth is going to come out and it’s going to be fairly apparent that this is a parent who came to the game probably a little bit too late. The best answer to that questions is that each parent needs to be involved with his or her children to the extent possible throughout their upbringing, and that takes some of the pressure off at the time that maybe they are going to undergo a transition in their family situation.
Chuck Roberts is family lawyer at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC, one of the largest law firms in DuPage County, Illinois.