Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Your Divorce Involves Children

Divorce is a challenging process even in the best of circumstances. When children are involved, the complexity increases as you transition from one unified family to two separate entities. Furthermore, by steering clear of some of the common mistakes, you can reduce disruptions and pave the way for a fulfilling and content life post-divorce. To ensure a smoother journey, it’s vital to avoid these three common divorce mistakes when you have children.

Mistake # 1: Failing to Inform Children about Divorce

Once you’ve made the decision to divorce, it’s essential not to hide it from the children. Of course, they require time to adjust to the new reality. It’s better to let them know sooner rather than later, and make sure you are the one to communicate the news. Assuming that your children will be better off if you don’t tell them is a mistake often made during divorce.   Experts point out that children can sense changes even when you don’t explicitly tell them. They observe alterations in your behavior and interactions within the family. If one parent leaves the family home, they will keep wondering what happened. If you confide in others, it’s likely that the news will eventually reach your kids.   Consider the following recommendations for discussing divorce with your kids in order to avoid this common mistake divorcing parents make:
  • Choose the right time and coordinate with the other parent on what to share beforehand.
  • Make a mutual agreement not to speak negatively about one another or assign blame during the conversation and beyond.
  • Speak to your kids together, showing them that both their parents are agreeable to the decision to split.
  • Reassure them of your love and emphasize that the divorce is not because of their fault.
  • Be open to answering their questions without making promises you cannot keep.
  • Communicate with them at their level as far as possible and do not over-share things that don’t concern them.

Mistake # 2: Involving Your Children in Your Conflict

While it’s important for children to be aware of the divorce, it’s prudent not to drag them into ongoing conflicts. Family courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making decisions, and it’s essential to maintain the same perspective, regardless of the situation.
  • Avoid arguing or having heated discussions when the kids are around, as they are going to hear your arguments even behind closed doors or with earplugs on.
  • Try to engage with your ex to develop a mutually acceptable and pragmatic parenting plan. This process encourages cooperation and working together, which benefits the children.

Mistake # 3: Ignoring the Non-Adversarial Divorce Mediation Process

One common mistake that generates anxiety is when divorcing parents seek the path of bitter litigation to settle all their disputes. They might wish for a public validation of who is wrong and who is right. In relation to this, relying solely on a court hearing rarely yields the desired outcome. Getting entangled in an aggressive blame game (sometimes at the behest of lawyers) eliminates the motivation to pursue less contentious alternatives. Divorce mediation offers a non-adversarial option worth considering. With the assistance of a skilled mediator, you can address divorce-related issues and avoid bitter courtroom battles. Mediation facilitates the divorcing couple to come together in an impartial setting. They can discuss their concerns, while a knowledgeable divorce and family law mediator helps them with the negotiation regarding child custody, child support, alimony, property division and other issues. Couples who are open to mediation may not always resolve all their differences, but many do. Moreover, these couples tend to have fewer conflicts in the future compared to those who aired their grievances in court, motivated by a desire to score a symbolic victory or prove their point.

Choose a Dedicated Divorce Mediation Expert to Protect Your Children's Best Interests

At the Lerner Conflict Resolution Center, our experienced mediators possess the skills, knowledge, and resources to help parents navigate the complexities of divorce. We prioritize your children’s best interests and facilitate win-win solutions, allowing you to move forward successfully. Request a complimentary consultation by calling us today at 657-232-0382. You can also contact us online and we will revert as soon as possible.

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