Parents going through a divorce need to remember that their words and actions have a direct impact on their children during a divorce. Remember – you are going through the divorce – not your children… and by that I mean your children are not divorcing either you or your spouse. So if you are going through a divorce or highly contested family law matter, please keep these “divorce rules” in mind
DIVORCE RULES WITH CHILDREN
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m just a kid, so please…
- Don’t talk badly about each other to me. (This makes me feel torn apart! It also makes me feel bad about myself.)
- Do not talk about my other parent’s friends or relatives. (Let me care for someone even if you don’t.)
- Do not talk to me about the divorce or other grown-up stuff like that. (This makes me feel sick. Please leave me out of it.)
- Do not talk to me about child support. (This makes me feel guilty or like I’m a possession instead of your kid.)
- Do not make me feel bad when I enjoy my time with my other parent. (This makes me afraid to tell you things.)
- Do not block my visits or prevent me from speaking to my other parent on the phone. (This makes me very upset.)
- Do not interrupt my time with my other parent by calling too much or by planning activities for me during our time together.
- Do not argue in front of me or on the phone when I can hear you. (This turns my stomach inside out!)
- Do not ask me to spy for you when I’m at my other parent’s home. (This makes me feel disloyal and dishonest.)
- Do not ask me to keep secrets from my other parent. (Secrets make me feel anxious.)
- Do not ask me questions about my other parent’s life. (This makes me uncomfortable. Just let me tell you.)
- Do not give me verbal messages to deliver to my other parent. (I end up feeling anxious about their reaction. Please call them, leave them a message at work or put a note in the mail.)
- Do not send written messages with me or place them in my bag. (This also makes me uncomfortable.)
- Do not blame my other parent for the divorce or for things that go wrong in your life. (This really feels terrible! I end up wanting to defend them from your attack. Sometimes it makes me feel sorry for you and want to protect you. I just want to be a kid, so please, please…stop putting me in the middle!)
- Do not treat me like an adult. (It causes way too much stress for me.) Please find a friend or counselor to talk with or to.
- Do not ignore my other parent or sit on opposite sides of the room during my school or sports activities. (This makes me feel sad and embarrassed. Please act like parents and be friendly, even if it is just for me.)
- Do let me take items to my other home as long as I can carry them back and forth. (Otherwise it feels like you are treating me like a possession.)
- Do not use guilt to pressure me to love you more and do not ask me where I want to live.
- Do realize that I have two homes, not just one. (It doesn’t matter how much time I spend there.) I’d also really appreciate it if you would let my other parent come into our house every now and then, because it’s my home too!
- Do let me love both of you and see each of you as much as possible!
Family law issues can become extremely complex. Securing strong legal representation from an attorney who knows Florida divorce law is the first step toward the outcome you deserve. If you are concerned about what will happen to your children, the future of your home and other assets, or the overall costs of divorce, please schedule an initial consultation with experienced family law attorney.