Communicate with your children and your soon to be ex-spouse. Let your children know exactly what will happen during the divorce but do not give graphic or negative details. Tell them openly that the divorce is between you and the other parent, and it has nothing to do with them. Openly communicate with your soon-to-be-ex about the children’s schedules and activities. This will be important as it will keep him/her in the loop about what is going on and may cause less animosity in the long run.
It’s basic human nature to talk negatively or bad-mouth someone who has hurt us, but it really is in the best interest of your children to not talk about the other parent negatively in front of them. Children often blame themselves for divorce and the more that you draw attention to it, the worse it will get. Remember that your ex-spouse is still the children’s other parent and will be there for the rest of their lives.
The first step is to keep negative remarks away from your children, but many people are not aware that even without words, children can sense the tension and anger in their parents. If you need to, seek out a family therapist, where everyone can speak openly. Furthermore, it is important that you let go of some of the anger and animosity against your ex-spouse. Once you can do that, it will help the children a great deal.
Even if the children do not live with you more than 50% of the time, or only visit on the weekends, you can still be a part of your children’s everyday lives. You can volunteer at their schools, or come to an agreement with your ex-spouse to be the after-school care provider instead of the local babysitter. Even little things like picking them up from piano lessons or taking them on a class field trip will make a world of difference. Just remember that these things need to be agreed upon by both parents, and as soon as the parents can take that first step, the rest of the divorce may get better as time progresses.
Obviously, many of these things are easier said than done, and you may need all the help you can get. To speak to an experienced attorney in the Bay Area about your divorce or child custody and support issues, contact the lawyers of Howard & Fei, LLP at 510.464.8083 for a consultation today.