I have never been divorced, so I don’t know first-hand the anger my clients feel at their ex-spouse, but I do see the aftermath of what happens to children and finances after protracted litigation. The divorce process is like a map which, over time, will eventually get you from point A to point B, but which doesn’t answer questions that will come up along the route such as, how much do you want to pay to get there, and what destruction do you want to cause along the way? Most experienced family law attorneys have a good idea of what will happen in court, regardless of the hurt you have experienced in your marriage, so often the focus when you have children should be how you want to act in the divorce process and what you are willing to risk to your children’s well-being along the way.
Parents frequently, if unwittingly, put their children in the middle of their conflict. What they don’t realize is that putting children in that position often leads to a child suffering from depression, sadness, problems in school, problems with friends, and acting out. You have to ask yourself, is this what I want for my children? From a child’s perspective, their world is falling apart. Their safety net and security is now gone. But being a parent who puts the children first, and keeping conflict at a minimum, helps alleviate those potential problems.
As the holidays approach, try not to ruin them for the children. Try to find a way to let children experience holidays with both parents. Allow them to experience joy with both sides of their family.
Don’t ask your children who was at the holiday dinner with the other parent.
Don’t tell the children you would like to buy them a gift but can’t afford it.
Don’t plan activities when you know your spouse has the children.
Remember that your spouse can be a bad spouse but a great parent, and even if they are not, the children deserve to love them and develop their own thoughts about a parent.
Do you love your children more than you hate your spouse? If so, check your anger at the door and allow everyone to get through a difficult process in the best way possible.
For questions about parenting or other family law issues, please call one of the family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine, & Blumenthal, P.C.