The recent news that Halle Berry quit a movie role to fight a custody battle with her ex over their beautiful child, Nahla, was a shocker. Yes, they were not together, but media coverage indicated that they were going to focus on effectively co-parenting their little daughter…

Now media reports indicate rumors of racial slurs, allegations of concerns for safety and the beginnings of a huge, public custody battle, where frankly neither party wins.


Typically, celebrity custody battles come down to two things for those involved: negative publicity and financial games. In other words, the child or children named are used as pawns for more money or personal gains.

Too bad.

Custody is supposed to be about making decisions that serve “the best interests of the child.” The reality is that bad blood, hurt feelings and a deep-seated desire to destroy the other partner supercede common sense. Anger, guilt, regret and sadness fight for a space instead of happiness and hope — two results that are possible after taking the step of ending an unhappy relationship. The child’s well-being can end up being secondary to personal rage and ongoing conflicts.

Can two parents work as a team to raise a child?

Yes, Here’s how.

1. Communicate. Text, email and talk — find a way to discuss decisions that are important to your child’s well-being.

2. Encourage your child to love and support both of you.

3. Avoid negativity. Don’t put down the other parent in front of your child.

4. Show up. Do what you are supposed to do when you say you will.

5. Resolve underlying conflicts.

6. Stay focused on raising a happy, healthy child.

7. Try to maintain healthy relationships with extended family members.

Remember the most important factor in the battle. Your child. Let them be the prize.

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