Matthew Kelly Associates
Darth Vader's Guide to Child Custody
Updated: May 11, 2022
We might not have a lot of information about the divorce rates on Tatooine, but the picture here on earth might seem a little bleak. The oft-quoted statistic is that 50 percent of marriages end, but that’s not entirely accurate. In fact, the number is a bit lower than that, with about 40 to 45 percent of first marriages ending in divorce. Subsequent marriages have an even higher divorce rate.
Divorce isn’t a matter of just splitting up a marriage. It changes your finances, your family and just about every aspect of your life. If you’ve got kids, you’ll find yourself thinking about child custody. Custody battles can break the toughest of men. Keeping your head together during this difficult time can ensure you get the best possible outcome for you and your children. Darth Vader’s experiences losing his wife and kids can offer some valuable lessons for men today.
Learning from Darth Vader’s Mistakes
1. Maintain a strong relationship with your kids.
Darth Vader clearly loved his children. After all, he threw his own master into the Death Star to save his son. However, he also cut off Luke’s hand and kidnapped Leia, which probably did some serious, if not permanent, damage to both of those relationships.
You don’t have to go so far as to murder any masters to stay close to your kids, but you might have to take a few extra steps to keep that bond tight. Check in on them regularly by calling them, monitoring their progress in school and attending school and extracurricular functions. Stay active and involved in their lives, and you’ll enjoy a more meaningful relationship, with or without Death Star antics.
2. Seek counsel from those who are wiser than you.
Anakin Skywalker had a tough start in life. The fatherless young boy was enslaved by Gardulla the Hutt along with his mother and later sold to a junk dealer. Enterprising and creative, Skywalker taught himself to make different machines in the junk shop, and that’s where he met the Jedi. His mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi took him under his wing and taught him a great deal about life and the Force.
The child custody process can be a tortuous one and fraught with pitfalls. Don’t go it alone. Talk to others who have been down this road before. They can offer valuable insight and information and help you know more about what to expect. A wise mentor can be worth his weight in gold and can teach you how to harness the power of the force in you so that you can stay balanced, healthy and whole.
3. Don’t sabotage yourself.
Committing genocide might just be the ultimate when it comes to demonstrating instability. Anakin Skywalker made it quite clear that he just couldn’t give his kids the loving, stable environment they needed. Of course, you won’t go to those lengths, but lots of men do undermine their own cases and try to influence the child custody process. The problem is that judges can see through those attempts and might penalize you for it, often pretty heavily.
Common child custody mistakes include:
Keeping kids longer than agreed upon
Taking kids unannounced
Criticizing your spouse in front of the kids or others
Having public or physical confrontations with your spouse
Exaggerating or making untrue allegations about your spouse
Any of these could come back to bite you. Keep things simple and true, and try your best to follow all court orders and keep things civil with your spouse.
Also, try not to join the Dark Side or kill any Tusken Raiders.
4. Keep the kids out of it.
Kidnapping and torturing Princess Leia was not a great move on Darth Vader’s part, and involving your kids in your court case would be equally disastrous for you. Let your kids be kids, and keep your adult problems off their shoulders. If you need to unburden yourself of complaints about either the case or your spouse, talk to a mentor or close friend instead.
5. Maintain a civil relationship with your spouse.
Anakin clearly loved his wife. He even put his life on the line in an attempt to secure the parts needed to fix her ship. Unfortunately, he also nearly choked her to death. It can be tough to keep things cordial with your spouse when you’re going through a separation or divorce, but getting into shouting matches, custody interference or worse can work against you in a big way when it comes to child custody arrangements.
Do your best to keep things amicable. Remember that once all is said and done, your child’s other parent will still be in your life, and you’ll still need to figure out how to work with them to parent your kids.
Finding a Child Custody Attorney Near Me
The story of Darth Vader wasn’t so much a story of good and evil as it was a cautionary tale of tragically dysfunctional family dynamics. Keeping things stable and civil during the tumult of a divorce and child custody battle might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it also could be one of the most rewarding, especially for your kids. We’re here to help.
Contact us today to find out more about custody relocation or to schedule a consultation with Matthew Kelly, our child custody attorney.