Family conflictSt. Louis, MO- Actress Hilary Duff’s divorce is getting heated as her estranged ex, hockey pro Mike Comrie is seeking joint custody of the couple’s son, TMZ reports.

TMZ reports that in his response to Duff’s divorce petition, Comrie has “demanded” joint custody of the couple’s 3-year-old son. In the original petition, Duff sought primary custody with Comrie getting visitation rights, but his response shows he is not satisfied with that demand.

Last month, Duff told Cosmopolitan magazine that she doesn’t doesn’t “know if people are meant to be together forever.” She also told the magazine that she and Comrie are co-parenting their son, which sounds a lot like joint custody, but Duffy appears unlikely to get on board with sharing custody.

The source told TMZ that Duff is concerned about sharing joint custody because of Comrie’s tendency to drink and party.

The couple acknowledge they have a prenuptial to settle issues of property and asset division, but that won’t solve their issues over child custody. Couples who plan on having children can also use a prenuptial agreement to dictate the terms of child custody if the couple decides to divorce in the future. This is notion that many couples are leery of but it gives a couple the opportunity to decide child custody in a better state of mind and can prevent them from being engaged in protracted custody battle down the road.

Child custody, more so than any other issue, can turn a routine divorce into an outright war. It is such an emotionally charged issue and children whose parents are going through divorce face a great deal of conflict. Children have to endure watching their parents argue and shout at each other. Put each other down and try to get at one another despite the emotional damage their children may suffer.

Estranged couples don’t necessarily mean to put their children in the middle of use them as pawns for revenge, but it happens far too often. This can all be too much for a child to bear and can lead to long-term consequences to their mental and physical health.

One of the primary goals of a family law attorney is ensure that you and your spouse can hash out your differences without putting your child in the middle of a contentious issue. They understand how the court works and can help a client avoid mistake that can jeopardize their chances of being granted the custody arrangement they are seeking.

An attorney who specializes in family law and child custody will be an asset to your case and will work to protect your parental rights. It’s unwise to plunge into a child custody battle without expert legal advice. At USAttorneys, we can steer you in the direction of a child custody attorney who will listen to your concerns and use their skills to help get an arrangement agreeable to you and your estranged spouse.