Divorce is scary. It is intimidating. It shakes the foundation of what you believed to be true and good. It may shatter your belief in love or in what’s fair or in what’s right. And that is just for the adults. Imagine all of those things being true, and then being a child having the people you love hate each other and having no control over what your own life is now and what it may be like in the future.
As a divorce attorney and a child of divorce, I know what it can be like for children when they have parents going through a contentious divorce. There is a video that is going around with a young girl pleading with her mother to be friends with her dad. She says she is not looking for them to get back together, but rather to just be “steady.” I think she is asking for peace.
I think parents have to remember that children cannot only hear what you say, but they can feel your emotions as well. In the midst of the trauma of having someone leave you or the feeling of loss after walking out, it is easy to get caught up in your own life and not be cognizant of what you are doing to your kids. Perhaps it could be of comfort to know that, while things may seem dire or desperate now, this is just a fleeting moment in time. After weeks or months or years, things will be calmer. After holidays have passed and routines get established anew, the peace you knew of your life pre-divorce will likely come again–just in a different manner.
So if you are tempted to lash out at your ex or if you feel despondent or in despair, be aware of your surroundings and be careful around the children. Seeking the advice of a therapist is almost always beneficial. Seeking the counsel of an attorney is as well. Remembering the impact of your emotions on your children may allow you to choose the time to break down, to choose the audience for your despair, to choose to do the very best you can to keep the adult issues between the adults, and the let children feel as much steadiness and peace as they can.
To discuss any family law issue, please contact one of the attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C.