Children and Divorce


While parents experience high levels of stress during and immediately after a divorce or separation, so do children. We urge parents to be considerate of their children at all times and to do everything reasonably within their ability to reduce their stress. Since it is easy for parents under stress to add to the stress of their children without being fully conscious of it, we offer the following twelve suggestions:

Never criticize your former spouse in front of your children.
   
Do not use a child to inform you of what the other parent is doing in regards to dating or other sensitive matters.
   
Never withhold visitation unless absolutely justified. Discuss any concerns with your family law attorney before withholding visitation.
   
Don’t tell your children that they have the right to decide where they want to live.
   
Do not use your children to deliver money, messages, or anything else to your former spouse.
   
Never discuss financial or other adult issues in the presence of your children.
   
Avoid being early or late for visitation exchanges, and keep any conversation with your former spouse pleasant and limited.
   
Never argue with your former spouse in the presence of your children. If an argument cannot be avoided, don't allow your children to witness it.
   
Always assure your children that they will always be able to see both parents on a regular basis.
   
Always allow your children to call their other parent on the telephone.
   
Always assure your children that your divorce had nothing to do with them or anything that they have done. The divorce was not their fault.
   
Always assure your children that you and your former spouse love them and will always care for them.
   


 


 

 

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