When you are going through a divorce, it is important to remember that the process can be especially tough on kids. They may feel like they are in the middle of a tug-of-war between their parents, and it is up to you to make sure that they don’t feel that way. How can you do that?
Consider litigation only as your last resort
Going to court is often a very traumatic experience for kids, so you may want to avoid it if possible. Instead, consider out-of-court options such as mediation or collaborative divorce.
In addition to being less traumatic for the kids than going to court, these options also allow you and your spouse more control over when, where and how you can resolve issues in your divorce. You may be able to work out a schedule that doesn’t require your child to wake up at the crack of dawn to go back and forth between your homes.
If out-of-court options don’t work for you, or if the other party is not willing to cooperate, then litigation may be necessary. Just keep in mind that it is always best to minimize the exposure of your kids to court.
Don’t badmouth the other parent in front of your kids
It is natural to want to vent to your kids about what a terrible person the other parent is, but this can be very harmful to them. Not only does it make them feel like they have to take sides, but it also makes them doubt their own relationship with the other parent. If you need to vent, do it in private with a therapist or close friend instead of airing your grievances in front of the kids.
Don’t use your kids as messengers
If you are feuding with the other parent, don’t make your kid deliver messages to them. This can be very confusing for kids, and it may end up putting them in the middle of the conflict. It’s better to communicate directly with the other parent, even if it is difficult. That way, your kids can just focus on their own lives and not have to worry about adult problems.
There’s no doubt that divorcing parents have a lot on their plates, but it is important to remember that the kids are always the top priority. By following these tips, you can help make the process less painful for them.