Parenting Mistakes To Avoid When Going Through Divorce

Divorce can be difficult on your family but it is extremely important not to find yourself hurting your children in the process. They are most important to protect during this time of transition and there are a few things to remind yourself of every time you are interacting with them.

First, make sure you understand the terms of your custody agreement. If you want to make changes be sure to go through the proper channels to make those changes. If you feel like your custody agreement isn’t being honored or you’d like to make changes, contact your divorce attorney for more information.

Second, don’t try and force them to take sides between you and your ex, no matter what your situation is. They are too young to be handling anything of this emotional magnitude and as their parent it is your place to protect them from this strife as much as possible. To them, they still have two parents and might want to keep it that way no matter what you want. Allow them the space to express what they want without trying to influence them.

Another very important piece of advice to follow, do not bad mouth your ex-partner in front of your children. Not only can this be psychologically damaging to them, but it can also cause rifts between you and them or your spouse and them. This action can come back to hurt you in future custody proceedings.

Finally, try to not let the stress of the divorce and its toll on you affect your relationship with your children. As difficult as it may be right now, protecting your relationship with your children is paramount and your children can be a source of comfort and love.

Co-Parenting during Special Occasions

All too often, the idea of a shared event in a child’s life ”“ for example, a birthday or a graduation ”“ can bring anxiety to divorced parents when they realize they will have to see their exes at the occasion. No doubt you want to be present for your child’s achievement, and the child benefits from the affirmation of both parents attending. But the logistics of the visit can be harsh, especially if you do not see eye to eye with your ex.

When tensions are high between you and your ex, there are constructive ways of dealing with it that can help prevent a flare up between the two of you. One way is by creating buffers ”“ arriving early to find separate seating, for example, or inviting friends and family to dissipate the negative atmosphere. This limited contact can keep animosity out of the picture so that both you and your ex can do what you are supposed to ”“ support and recognize your child’s achievements.

If you plan on celebrating post-event and your ex will be present, do your best to maintain a low key attitude toward your ex. Light conversation and focusing on the child will help keep your issues with your ex under wraps ”“ this is definitely not a time to discuss child support or other divorce-related contentions. This is another place where having other friends and relatives present can help ”“ if you can keep your child talking, you can avoid awkwardness with your ex.

You could also consider holding celebrations separately. Graduation parties, for example, can be held on different days with different sides of the family.

No matter what, these days are not about you or your ex. They are about your child. Placing your focus on him or her is the easiest way to avoid conflict.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

Making the Most of Non-custodial Parenting

Being the non-custodial parent can be challenging. It is a drastic change from spending your day-to-day life with your child to limited visits, and coping with this shift can be frustrating. However, just because you no longer get to spend as much time with your child does not mean you cannot still be an important part of the child’s life.

There are lots of parents in your shoes, so we’ve compiled some advice from non-custodial parents to help ease the transition for you.

Understand and exercise your rights as the non-custodial parent. Make sure that you’ve made time to visit when you are allowed. If you are able to speak on the phone or text message each other, take advantage of that. Do you have access to school and medical records? Use that access! Keeping close tabs on your child allows you to be involved in his or her day-to-day life while also providing you useful information if, in the future, you decide to modify the custody agreement.

Work with the other parent. Do not harbor resentment for your ex, even if you feel like the custody situation is his or her fault. The easier you make the change for the other parent, the more accommodating he or she will be to you when you want time with your child. Co-parenting is not only best for you and your ex, but for the child as well.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your situation, focus on what is right. Spending time with your child should be a happy, memorable experience, and as long as you keep a positive outlook and make sure that you fully utilize your time together, the memories you make will overshadow any negativity you might feel toward being the non-custodial parent.

The transition will be difficult, but if you handle it correctly, being the non-custodial parent should not serve as a detriment to your relationship with your child. If your custody arrangement still proves unsatisfactory, though, you can always speak to a family law attorney about custody modification.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

How to Deal with Exes and Parenting Issues Post-Divorce

Our Twitter feed has been full of great tips for dealing with ex-spouses this week! Whether emotionally or legally, dealing with your ex after your divorce can be a bumpy””but often necessary””ride. The most common reason an ex stays in your life after the relationship ends is shared custody of the kids. If you have children together, your life will likely never be completely free of a former spouse””even after the kids enter adulthood.

Maintaining a civil relationship with an ex””in most cases, except instances of abuse or violence””can benefit everyone involved, particularly children. It may not always be easy, but here are a few tips for dealing with an ex in ways that everyone can live with:

  • Do not badmouth your ex in front of your kids: Face it””everyone is human. And all of us are tempted at times to express anger, frustration, annoyance, or sadness when the kids are going to visit the ex. For your children’s sake””and for your own mental health””please refrain. Seriously. It will not help you, and it certainly is not good for the children to feel stuck in the middle. In fact, try and go the opposite direction. Be generous. Let your children know your ex””their mother or father””loves them as much as you do, even if””inside your head””you have negative thoughts. Try to remember that the most important people in this relationship are your children. They will watch your actions as well as listen to your words. And it is not just the kids who will benefit. Avoiding arguments, harsh words, and negative emotions will reduce your own stress. Find someone to confide in””a good friend, family member, or therapist””and save your negative thoughts for a better setting and recipient.
  • Adjust to changes and be understanding: Your ex is dealing with his or her life too. There may be times when he or she is late for the children’s drop-off and pick-up. Or maybe there is a work conflict or an after-school activity to navigate around. Try to be flexible and understanding. Life happens, so be open to changes and adjust as best you can. If unplanned changes to parenting schedules and visits seem to be happening often, it might be time to review arrangements. If your ex is late to a few drop-offs, the world will not end; however, if it is a precursor to more serious behaviors or habits, consider whether there will be long-term effects. Again, the most important person here is your child. Will this behavior eventually impact your child negatively? If not, do your best to be flexible, even when it is hard.
  • Find neutral help: If you are finding it beyond difficult to maintain civility””and believe us, it happens””find someone who can act as a go-between or mediator for you. This can be a friend or family member, but it should be someone who both of you like and respect””and importantly, someone who can be neutral. This neutral party could then attend drop-offs and pick-ups or any additional meetings between the two of you regarding your child’s upbringing. Often, involving someone who is not directly affected can defuse a tense situation and keep everyone calm.
  • Keep the lines of communication open: Whether your child is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce, is involved in sports that bring frequent schedule changes, or even is having problems in school””you and your ex will need to be able to communicate. The first step is to find the communication style that works for both of you. It could be that email is easiest because face-to-face dredges up too many emotions. It could be that you need a neutral third party we discussed above. Either is fine. Just pick what works for you and the kids and make sure to keep talking. If you see a potential problem at your home with your child, make sure you let the other parent know. If your child is interested in joining a sport, and the games will require out-of-state travel, talk to each other. Communication in any fashion that reduces stress, prevents misunderstanding and ensures both parents know all they need to know to effectively address a child’s needs is the ultimate goal.

Conclusion

Your marriage may have ended, but you will always have your kids in common””and that means a little extra challenge when you are adjusting to life as ex-partners. Whether it is scheduling joint attendance at events, juggling the challenges of daily scheduling or child-rearing challenges, you and your ex will want to develop new””and perhaps unexpected””coping and communication skills to make sure children grow up with as much involvement and interaction from both parents as possible, despite the divorce.