When parents decide to get a divorce, they have a lot on their minds – temporary orders for child and spousal support, property and debt division, and of course child custody. While all of these matters will be hashed out before a judge signs off on a divorce, we cannot ignore the fact that so many parents worry about how the divorce will affect their children.
It’s no secret; divorce can affect children socially and academically. It can cause short-term behavioral problems and even depressive symptoms in children. Some children of divorce have such a negative experience watching their parents belittle each other and constantly argue that they’ve lose faith in the institution of marriage.
If you’re afraid of parental alienation, or if you fear your relationship with your children will sour because of the divorce, we want you to know something: It is entirely possible for your children to avoid the negative effects of divorce. It is possible for your relationship with your children to remain intact. It may even be healthier and stronger than it was before the divorce, but how can you increase the chances of this happening?
Best Divorce Advice You’ll Hear
As divorce attorneys, we have seen and heard it all. When it comes to divorce, child custody and visitation, nothing surprises us anymore. We’ve seen divorces impact relationships with parents and children for the worse, but we’ve also seen it impact relationships for the better. Drawing from years of observation and experience, the following is our advice on how to shield your children from the ill effects of divorce.
Develop a healthy relationship with your soon-to-be ex-husband or wife. It’s that simple. If you want to help your children deal with the divorce in a healthy way, then strive to get along with their other parent before, during and after the divorce. No matter what your spouse did to you, and regardless of the reasons for the divorce, with the exception of domestic violence, this is the single most powerful advice we can give divorcing parents.
We understand – you may find it hard to be near your spouse right now. It may be downright difficult to be in the same room as him or her. But for the sake of your children’s happiness and well-being, we urge you to find a way to treat your spouse with honor and respect now and for years to come. Even if you’re not sure how you’re both going to pull this off, remember, if you can be the better person and treat your spouse with kindness and respect, you’re already halfway there.