If you ask any attorney who works in the field of divorce, “What is the biggest mistake clients make during or after a divorce?” the reply would probably be, “Involving their children.”
It is a sad fact that millions of children are the products of divorced families and many of them are traumatized by the event. Divorce is difficult enough when the parents are cooperative, but when parents continue to fight and put the children in the middle, it can be devastating for the offspring.
It is perfectly possible to raise happy, well-adjusted children even if you are divorced. However, raising happy children requires some sacrifice on your part. Here are some important points about how to handle situations with your children during and after your divorce from the attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center:
- Never involve children in an argument. If you must argue with your spouse or your ex, be sure that the children are not witnesses. You should certainly never ask the children to side with one parent or the other or make them a party to a dispute.
- Never talk about the other partner to your children. This is very difficult to do, especially if the child is confused and questioning the divorce. However, you are hurting the child if you “bad-mouth” the other parent. Reassure your child that you love him or her very much and that nothing will change that. You should also tell the child that he or she can come to you with questions. However, when it comes to answering those questions, you must find a way to talk to the child that does not involve anything negative about your spouse! If the child is angry with the other parent, allow him or her to vent but respond in a way that does not put down the partner. A good response might be, “I understand how you feel.”
- Never withhold child support or visitation to “punish” the spouse. You are not only hurting your spouse by using your children’s time with them as a punishment or by withholding support; you are also hurting the children.
If you are facing a rancorous divorce dispute involving children, it is important that you have sound legal advice. The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to help you come up with a plan that will protect both you and your children from the negative effects of divorce.