During a divorce, children's needs must come first
Most parents going through divorces are, basically, good people; they often simply do not have a good marriage. No shame, no blame; those are just the facts. No matter what your reasons are for seeking a divorce, if you have children involved, the process is more difficult than picking up and moving on with your separate lives.
Divorce is never easy and battling spouses can create a war zone, trapping their children in no-man's-land in between. However, it does not have to be that way, nor should it be. Parents who are going through a divorce should put the interests of their children ahead of their own and do what they can to keep the trauma - and the drama - at bay.
It is vitally important for both parents to stay involved in the lives of their children. Each parent wants to maintain a good relationship with his or her child and the other spouse should not stand in the way. Ex-spouses can interfere with the other's interaction with a child in subtle ways that can harm their relationship.
Parental alienation syndrome is when a child develops a negative attitude against a parent that is caused by words or actions of the other parent. When mom badmouths dad to their child, that child's relationship with his or her father is adversely affected. Keeping children from seeing a parent or creating situations that make visits more difficult will also hurt their relationship.
It is important to set aside personal feelings toward an ex-spouse when around the children. The mental health issues that can arise from verbal abuse or simple arguments witnessed by the children can hurt them for years to come. If some level of civility is not maintained, the children often feel they must choose sides. Having to choose between the two people they love the most can be quite damaging.
Communicate and collaborate
When it comes to decisions and issues with the children, parents need to avoid making their children the messengers. Whether communication is maintained by phone, email, texts or face-to-face conversations, it is best to keep the kids out of that loop so they can be kids, not the conveyors of decisions, news, emotions and the like.
In Texas, the collaborative divorce process may also be a good option for parents going through a divorce. This process allows those who have an amicably relationship to make joint decisions for their families regarding issues such as custody, visitation, child support and property division.
Seek legal advice
At any point during the divorce process or afterwards, you can seek the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer. An attorney knowledgeable about divorce matters can help you negotiate an agreement that will work for you and your children, as well as help you make modifications as your family's needs change.