By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Anyone going through divorce knows it inevitably stirs up charged emotions — some anticipated and others unexpected. And when children are involved, the process is exponentially more complex and challenging. One of the biggest battlegrounds revolve around child custody and child support. Even if you’re fighting about the children, it’s never their fault.
Fortunately, there are ways to get through it together. Marriages that end amicably are the healthiest for both the parents and the children.
Dealing with highly charged emotions
Betrayal, guilt, anger and shame can rear their ugly heads in a divorce, These feelings come with much pain and should never be ignored or taken lightly.
However, your children are always innocent. They should never bear the weight of problems that you and your spouse created or experienced. Encouraging a malicious relationship with the other parent, speaking poorly of your ex in the presence of your kids and constantly battling them is never in their best interest.
As a parent, your role is not to win a popularity contest with your kids. But it is your responsibility to role model positive behavior and encourage a healthy relationship with both parents. You do this because children do best when both parents are able to love and support them.
Easing the process in and out of court
Courts always consider the relationships that the parents have, not only with the child but with each other. Agreement on parenting styles and each parent’s ability to communicate willingly with each other will ease the process. Parental cooperation paves the way for greater flexibility. The presiding judge may be more inclined to allow parents more freedom in deciding voluntary payment of child custody as well as visitation rights.
Maintaining civility after your divorce will not only elevate the emotional level of the entire family. It will also prevent future lawsuits, modifications, unnecessary time in court and costly court/attorney fees. Encouraging trust and respect in a relationship with your former spouse will prevent confusion and chaos when life challenges occur. Accidents, sickness, job difficulties may create co-parenting challenges. One parent may need extra time with a child or time away from the child, extra money when financial burdens arise, scheduling changes to meet unexpected work demands.
It can take enormous skill to bite your tongue or sidestep revisiting lost battles. However, it’s worth it in the long run. Avoid the blame game. It may require extraordinary effort, but it too will be beneficial, especially for the kids. Yes, stand up for your rights and what you are entitled to. But also do your best to make the process as amicable as possible. Your children will thank you when they are grown adults.
3 divorce resources that support a better divorce outcome:
CHILD-CENTERED DIVORCE NETWORK: Divorce and co-parenting coaching services, ebooks and e-courses on coparenting success strategies, anger management program, relevant articles and blog posts. https://www.childcentereddivorce.com
AMICABLE DIVORCE NETWORK: A network of experienced divorce professionals committed to guiding you through a low conflict and efficient divorce process. https://www.amicabledivorcenetwork.com
It can take enormous skill to bite your tongue or sidestep revisiting lost battles but it’s worth it in the long run. Avoiding the blame game may require extraordinary effort as well, but it too will be beneficial, especially for the kids. Yes, stand up for your rights and what you are entitled to, but do your best to make the process as amicable as possible. Your children will thank you when they are grown adults.
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of How Do I Tell the Kids About The Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide To Preparing Your Children — With Love! To learn more about her coaching services, e-courses and other valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting, plus her FREE ebook on co-parenting success strategies, visit: https://www.childcentereddivorce.com
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