The parents of children who are separated need to be very careful about how they deal with them. If possible, they should try not to let their separation affect the children. This is more easily said than done, but it can often be achieved by a combination of three things:
1. Making sure that your own interests (and those of any other adults living with you) do not conflict with what the children want. For example:
It’s important that you do not say or imply anything bad about your partner when the children are around. Even if he or she has really annoyed you, it will only make matters worse for you and the children later. Additionally, you should avoid exposing the children to arguments between you and your partner. It is especially important that this rule applies even after the relationship breaks up. Children are not only deeply sensitive to conflicts between their parents, the relationship between you and their other parent will also serve as a direct model for what they themselves should expect in future relationships. Children of divorced parents are already at a disadvantage categorically in this regard, and it’s vital that you model healthy rather than destructive separation to mitigate this damage.
2. Avoid issues related to child custody and visitation.
You, and your former partner, if possible, should take care to recognize that children require as much time with both of their parents as is possible. You should avoid using the term “visitation” with your children regarding your former spouse, instead opting for the term “quality time” or “parenting time”. Children should also be provided with a consistent environment. This means that, where possible, their living and sleeping arrangements should be as similar as possible between both houses.
3. Keep the children’s schedule as consistent as possible.
Finally, children crave structure. It’s vital that their schedules be kept as consistent as possible to what they were prior to the divorce. This means that, where possible, you and your partner will agree not to withdraw them from school, not to move to a different city, and not to withdraw them from their previously enjoyed extracurricular activities.
When all three of these factors are met, the transition to a co-parenting situation can be made as painless for the children involved as is possible. If you are going through a divorce and associated child custody battle, Simon Law Group can help. Contact us today for a free consult!