Do you know that it is time to file for divorce, but worry that the strain of the divorce process will harm your children? On the other hand, if you don't bring an end to your marriage, the toxicity of that relationship may hurt your children as much or more than a divorce.
This dilemma paralyzes many parents who love their children very much and don't know how to end their marriage while protecting their children from the unavoidable hurt of the process.
If you feel this way, you are not alone. Thousands of loving parents face this very same prospect each year. Fortunately, the good news is that it is possible to divorce and keep your children safe and healthy in the process.
One of the best ways to lay a good foundation for protecting your children is by working with an attorney who truly understands the needs of children in the divorce process. An experienced attorney can keep your children's needs and fears in mind as he or she builds a strong strategy for navigating your divorce.
Understand and prioritize your children's needs
A loving parent's hope for a civil, healthy divorce is not a pipe dream. It is certainly possible to achieve the divorce you want while protecting your children. A good place to start is by identifying your children's fears and speaking to them directly.
Perhaps a child fears that he or she will lose parents' love and protection in the divorce, which is a very common fear. As a parent, you can assure your children that these fears are normal, but that you will always love and care for them.
This extends into the actual divorce process. In many cases, the desires of the parent, especially when it comes to custody conflicts, are not in line with the needs of the child. For instance, many parents seek sole custody of children, regardless of the children's desire to remain connected to both parents. in this case, it may be wise to consider compromising your desires as a parent to ensure that your children retain the contact they need with their other parent.
This is particularly difficult in circumstances where one parent presents safety concerns for children. An experienced attorney can help you address your fears for the safety of the children while still creating opportunities for the problematic parent to remain in the children's lives.
Do not use your children to punish your spouse
If any parents want to ruin their relationship with their children in short order, using the children as tools of punishment and retribution against the other parent is an exceptionally effective way to do so.
Not only will you harm your own relationships with your children this way, you also run the risk of damaging the way they relate to others, especially in future romantic relationships.
It is far wiser to commit to putting your children's needs and desires above your own while navigating your divorce. If you seek out an experienced attorney who understands how to work through these important issues, you stand a much better chance of avoiding this particular pitfall.
Each divorce is different. Be sure you get the help you need to keep the process calm and professional, for your sake and the sake of your continued relationships with the children you love.