Divorcing With Children: Making the Best of It
Making the decision to divorce is one of the biggest decisions a person will face in their lives. Ending a marriage is not something that is taken lightly, especially when children are involved. Many parents refuse to pull the trigger on divorce, instead deciding to wait until the children are grown. But this can ultimately cause more harm than good.
Divorce in itself is not what traumatizes children. It’s the conflict involved that causes the lasting stress and trauma. Research shows that children do better when they live in separate homes where there is peace rather than living under one roof with parents who constantly fight. When the tension is there all the time, staying together for the kids actually does not work at all. It’s better for the parents to just part ways.
When children are exposed to constant fighting by their parents, they are negatively impacted. They have more trouble sleeping as well as difficulty in school. Children of parents who are divorced but work collaboratively tend to do much better than children of parents who never divorced but have moderate conflict. Married couples need a ratio of 5 to 1 positive to negative interactions in order for their marriage to survive. When they don’t, their marriage suffers and so do the children.
However, there is still work involved. The best approach is a method called cooperative collaborative parenting, where parents can talk to each other away from kids and hash out their differences. This requires both parents to agree not to fight in front of the kids. While there might still be differences, they need to be aired out in private. But that may not work, depending on your ex’s behavior. They may be easier to deal with once living separately, or they might become more difficult.
Parallel parenting is another common parenting tactic. This is where the two houses are different but the adults respect each other. Parents have to explain to their children that different teachers at school have different expectations and guidelines, and it’s the same with their parents. In parallel parenting, parents do not attend the same functions, appointments, or child-related events. Communication in parallel parenting often occurs through email, text messages, or an app.
Ending a marriage is not easy. The transition will likely be hard for both you and your children. There will be rough days, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The end result is a better situation for everyone involved. There will be less conflict and more happiness.
Seek Legal Help
Divorcing is stressful enough. Having kids caught in the middle can be much more challenging, but there are ways to get through this tough time.
A Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer from Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can guide you through child custody and support matters. We are here to help you understand your legal rights and fight for them so you get the best outcome possible. Schedule a consultation today by calling 954-764-4330 or filling out the online form.