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.
Fortunately, there are ways to get through it together. Marriages that end amicably are the healthiest for both the parents and the children. That’s why we encourage focusing on creating a Child-Centered Divorce.
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. Even if you’re fighting about the children, it’s never their fault. They should never bear the weight of problems that you and your spouse created or experienced. It’s never in a child’s best interest when you encourage a malicious relationship with their other parent. Or if you speak poorly of them in the presence of your kids. Or if you constantly battle with your ex
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 work towards 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 the parents have, not only with the child, but with each other. Agreement on parenting styles and the ability to communicate willingly with one another will ease the process. Parental cooperation paves the way for greater flexibility. Consequently, the presiding judge may be more inclined to allow parents more freedom. That can help when deciding voluntary payment of child custody as well as visitation rights.
Maintaining civility after your divorce will elevate the emotional level of the entire family. It will also prevent future lawsuits, modifications, unnecessary time in court and costly court/attorney fees. Encourage trust and respect in your relationship with your former spouse. It will prevent confusion and chaos when life challenges occur. Accidents, sickness, job difficulties may create co-parenting complexities. One parent may need extra time with a child or time away from the child. Another may need extra money when financial burdens arise. Sometimes scheduling changes are necessary to meet unexpected work demands. How you handle this drama will affect every facet of your ongoing coparenting relationship.
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 coparenting 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
SPLIT-SMART: A clear, step-by-step process that helps couples organize financials, parenting plans and child-support in the best interest of the whole family. https://www.splitsmart.com
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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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