Every family law matter comes with emotional strain and stress. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, angry and sad. However, when kids are involved, it is never okay to put them in the middle of a dispute. When a relationship breaks up, kids will inevitably be affected. The goal should always be to minimize the impact on your children.
Unfortunately, many divorcing couples or unmarried couples in a custody dispute forget about the importance of keeping kids out of it. Here are a few ways to keep your focus on moving forward and minimizing the stress for your children.
- Do not say or write anything to the other parent that you would not want your children to hear or read.
- Do not put anything on social media that could get back to the other parent or that your children may see.
- Do not discuss adult issues such as child support, spousal maintenance or parenting time in front of the children.
- Do not discuss your stress or emotional issues surrounding the family law dispute with your children.
- Allow your children to ask questions about the transition. Work with mental health professionals to appropriately answer your children's questions about divorce and custody issues. Even better, work with the other parent on how to answer whenever possible.
- Keep communication business-like and avoid unnecessary detail, accusations or baiting of the other parent.
- Speak neutrally or positively about the other parent in front of your children, no matter how difficult that may seem. It is important for your child to see that you are supportive of their relationship with the other parent.
- Discuss discipline and behavioral guidelines with your ex so that you are both on the same page with regard to raising your children.
- Most importantly, tell your children often that you love them!
At Littman Family Law, we can help you develop a healthy co-parenting approach. To find out more about how we help children and parents, read here.
Children already have difficulties when going through major life changes like divorce and custody proceedings. Don't add to their stress unnecessarily by putting them in the middle of your dispute with your ex. You want to know that your children will be alright in the end and using these guidelines can go a long way to raising happy, healthy and well-adjusted children.