Divorce can be complicated and painful, but when children are involved the affects of divorce are compounded. The one most important ingredient to making this process easier on children, even adult children, is the absence of conflict. This sounds like it could be difficult, when often conflict is the one consistent component in the relationship of a divorcing couple. Now more than ever, thinking first how your actions and decisions will impact your children is paramount. Having a positive relationship with both parents is emotionally beneficial for their own current and future relationships.
Here are some things to consider:
- Keep the children out of the middle.
- Learn to share parenting responsibilities with the other parent.
- Prioritize what works best for the children.
- Don’t say negative things about the other parent.
- Don’t discuss money matters with your children.
- Don’t use your child as a confidante, even an adult child.
- Seek the support you need from family and friends, or a counselor, not from your children.
- Protect the children from the conflict.
- Preserve a manageable co-parenting relationship.
- Learn to make decisions based on what will work best for your children.
- Don’t talk to you children about specifics or the financial impact on them.
As an attorney that has often represented the children in a divorce, it is clear that taking even a few of these pointers and putting them in practice can make a world of difference in the emotional well-being of children. And let’s face it, they are our most precious asset.
This and more valuable information is discussed in the Divorce Option ™ seminars given regularly by my colleagues and myself, family law specialists. Check the Collaborative Practice website for more information.