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Maisie Knows

By Armin U. Kuder

Anyone involved in a custody action, or even contemplating one, needs to see “What Maisie Knew.”  This small, engrossing movie, currently in theaters, captures the awful things that parental combatants for custody can do to a child, both intentional and unintentional.  Quizzing a child about what goes on in the other parent’s home; coaching a child as to what to tell an interviewer; expecting, even requiring, a child to say “okay” in approval of something the parent knows is not what the child wants. These, and other actions, deplored by judges and mental health professionals are there, and theyring true. Parents do act in ways which Masie’s face lets us know are a problem. A therapist I respect once testified that fights for a fifty-fifty sharing of a child are about the parents, and not about the child. This movie perfectly captures that observation. Perhaps seeing it can change some parents’ understanding of where they should be focused.

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