After 20 years preparing divorce papers there is one issue that I feel deep passion about. Divorcing with children.
There are a lot of people who choose to remain married for the sake of the children which I have strong opinions about as well.
When you decide to get a divorce it is very important to keep the children in mind. Raising children is the most important job you will ever have. You can go through a divorce and provide your children with a safe and loving structure through the entire process, if you handle it correctly.
First and foremost, children should never be subjected to any of the details of the divorce. Children have the capacity to understand different things at different ages but the one thing that should never be done is discussion about the details of the divorce in front of the children.
I know this is easier said than done. You may be angry, confused, scared, and a myriad of other emotions. The key is to remember that children process differently and they simply are not emotionally equipped to process these emotions.
There is a right way to speak to the children, depending on ages, about the divorce. It is important that you demonstrate the positive aspects of how their lives are going to change. Do not dwell on the negative, they do not need to know this.
Never and I will said it again, never put your spouse down in front of the children. You may believe that this will help you get what you want but what you are doing is harming your child. A child subjected to this will be confused and will probably feel guilt. Remember, you are talking about their hero. That’s right, children’s heroes are their parents. Think about it, parents are the protectors, the teachers, and the caretakers. Of course children will see parents as heroes.
It is important to remember that there was a reason once upon a time that you chose to marry your spouse and have children with him or her. Sure things have changed but there was a time when you obviously thought enough of them to marry them. Allow your children to love the other parent and even encourage that.
You have to separate the relationships. Your relationship with your spouse is different than the relationship with your spouse and child. You need to always put your child first and do everything in your power to foster a good and positive relationship between your spouse and children.
Make sure your divorce includes a Parenting Plan. All of the things that can possibly come up that may cause a problem should be addressed in this plan. Having this will cut down on confusion when situations arise.
If you have a volatile relationship with your spouse, you can agree to do all communicating through the mail or email. This is a very effective way of keeping the negative to a minimum.
By showing your children that you and your spouse can still co-parent without remaining married will offer a stability that will help your children cope through the divorce process and beyond.
Do not make the children suffer for adult problems. Always remind yourself that anytime your children are subjected to these negative issues you are bringing them a sense of guilt and instability.
We all want the best for our children and the first step in that is be the best for your children.