Custody Dispute Over Gender Dysphoria?: Are You & Your Ex Fighting Over How to Handle Your Child’s Gender Identity?

In a custody dispute over gender dysphoria? Are you and your ex fighting over your child’s gender identity?

Custody dispute over gender dysphoria? It is indisputable that gender dysphoria can lead to divorce. And it can lead to rather vicious custody battles as well.

If your child has gender identity disorder or “gender dysphoria” it could present challenges both for the child and for parents struggling to find the right approach which obviously can lead to fights and quarrels. Throw in divorce and all of a sudden, an already difficult family situation now becomes an impossible problem to solve and handle and you have World War III on your hands. Gender Dysphoria of a child could result in a vicious custody dispute if parents have divergent ideas of how to deal with their child’s gender dysphoria and what is the best way to approach parenting of this child.

Why could this happen? Often, because the parents disagree about the dysphoria itself, whether to treat the child as someone with a disorder, or whether to treat the situation as something that can be cured. Further, one parent may be in favor of allowing the child to undergo medical treatment and surgery that is often irreversible and life-altering while the other parent may believe that the child could outgrow the gender “confusion” and thus prefer to take a hands off approach till the child reaches the age of majority and can make decisions for him or herself.

Families can potentially be destroyed by something like this because on one side one party could seem insensitive to the child’s best interest in this scenario and on the other hand  the other parent can seem like an enabler.

It is hard to give advice on how to handle something like this because it is unlikely that a one size fits all approach is right for every family and every scenario. Each person with gender dysphoria is different and it depends also on the age of the child as well as how severely he or she is afflicted with this dissatisfaction with their assigned birth gender.

Parents can feel all sorts of conflicting emotions towards their child and towards each other on account of this and it can have a severe impact on family dynamics especially because children with gender dysphoria often suffer depression, anxiety, isolation and even suicide. So this can be a very high stress situation.

Courts will definitely have to evaluate this situation carefully to determine which parent is best able to provide for the child’s best interest in a case of this nature. It really is going to come down to which parent is best able to take the child as he or she is and help the child adjust socially, emotionally and psychologically. This is not necessarily going to be the parent who says “let the child do as he or she wants” because, especially with very young children, the child may not really know what he or she wants and could very well grow out of this “phase” of being unhappy with his or her gender. So a parent who is heavy-handed and pushy insofar as indulging the child’s whims and even going so far as condoning invasive and irreversible surgeries, etc, may not necessarily be the right custodial solution for that child. On, the other hand, a parent who keeps denying the child’s desires after insurmountable evidence that the child’s gender dysphoria is not just a passing phase is likewise problematic.

It will have to be a case by case solution and courts will have to act with heightened sensitivity in the best interest of the child.

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