By Alisse Camazine
In my more than 35 years of experience with family law cases, I have learned the simple lesson that judges look more favorably on parents who show that their kids’ welfare is their most important priority. Here are a few things you may want to consider:
Kids whose parents are going through a divorce don’t want….
-To see their parents dating. It is hard enough for kids to deal with their emotions resulting from their parents’ divorce without also having to deal with the complicated emotions of Mom or Dad’s new boy/girlfriend.
-To see their parents emotionally distraught day after day. Showing some emotion is natural, but if you find yourself crying or angry day after day, it has an impact on your children. Find a therapist to help you though this trying time and try to maintain your composure in front of the kids.
-To listen to one parent talk badly about the other parent. Kids love both of their parents and they also know they are made up of parts of their mom and parts of their dad. Bad-talking the other parent can make them feel you are bad-talking a part of the child.
-To be told that everything will be “okay” without any details. They want to know details about how this will change their life– where they will go to school, where they will live, etc. If you don’t know the answers, you can say ,“Your dad/mom and I are working on the details of what will happen after the divorce but either way, you will be taken care of and we both love you.”
-To be denied access to their other parent. They want the right to be in communication even if it is just a nightly phone conversation.
-To witness any disagreements between their parents during the divorce process . The memory of that fight will overshadow your family trip to Disney, so allow your lawyers to hash out the conflicts and keep the drama away from the children.
-To have their emotions ignored or rejected throughout the process. If your child needs someone to talk to, find a therapist or counselor they can confide in.
-To be a messenger between their parents. Be adults and communicate to each other directly. If you cannot talk to your spouse, then use email.
-To be asked details of their other parent’s life like who they are dating. Making your child your spy is bad parenting. Don’t do it.
– REMEMBER THAT WHILE THEY ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS, THEY ARE JUST CHILDREN, SO IT IS UP TO YOU TO ACT LIKE AN ADULT.