Divorce can be difficult for individuals and families, especially when there are children involved. Approximately 40 percent of couples divorce, so unfortunately, the end of a marriage is something that many adults and kids will face during their lifetime. Divorce can be stressful in every situation, but there are some things that can make your divorce easier -- and there are certain actions that can make life harder for everyone as well.
For parents going through a divorce, it is important to be particularly careful about your actions and sensitive about your behaviors in order to avoid making things more difficult for children. Involving a New Jersey divorce attorney as early as possible in the divorce process is helpful, as you want to ensure you have a good understanding of what will take place in order to dissolve your marriage in a timely and effective way.
10 Things Parents Should Avoid During Divorce
Ten key things that parents should avoid during the divorce process include:
- Delaying the divorce: If you are not able to get along, it is better to divorce when the children are still younger and more adaptable. Living in a house with constant fighting is never a good situation for kids.
- Blowing things out of proportion: Whether it is a remark from your ex or something your kids say, it is easy to overreact to everything during such an emotional time. Always try to keep a level head.
- Trying to live without a schedule: You and your ex should not simply “wing it” when it comes to sharing parenting time, as this could create constant fights and tension. Have a schedule and stick to it.
- Neglecting your children's best interests: Focus on what makes sense for your kids when you create your custody arrangement -- not just on what you would prefer.
- Restructuring the way you parent: You don't want to force your kids to experience too much radical change at once. Be consistent with rules and discipline and try to keep routines the same as much as possible.
- Moving on too quickly: Delay introducing your kids to new partners or exposing them to your dating life so they have time to adjust to their new reality.
- Vilifying the other parent: You want your kids to be able to maintain a positive relationship with both of their parents.
- Changing the dynamic between parents and kids: Do not rely on your children to be a support system or fulfill your emotional needs.
- Punishing the other parent: Don't try to use your kids to punish your ex. Your kids will become confused and hurt, and the court will not like this behavior.
- Forgetting that your relationship with your ex will last for a lifetime. In all your interactions, try to be civil because you will be dealing with this person forever.
Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, P.A. can help parents keep their cool during divorce, and can provide assistance in trying to negotiate an effective out-of-court divorce settlement and parenting plan. Resolving things on your own can make life a lot easier for you and your kids because there are typically lower costs and less acrimony associated with negotiated divorces.
However, an attorney can also help when no agreement can be reached and you have to go to court to protect your relationship with your kids. Contact our office as soon as possible to make sure you can continue to build strong bonds with your children.