Getting a divorce is rarely easy and often worse when there are children involved. Your family is facing major life-altering changes and you suddenly will have a different type of relationship with your children. After spending time with your kids every day, you are now facing possibility of becoming a part-time parent, which is a very painful thought.
When parents decide to get divorced, the primary recurring concerns are in regards to the kids. For example, how will they react when I tell them about the divorce?
How will they handle the major transition when one parent moves out of the home? What can I do to protect my kids from getting hurt?
Many parents are tempted to aggressively fight for every minute they can spend with their kids, even if it means taking a child custody dispute to trial in a family court.
However, in most cases, you should not consider taking this route as it has the real possibility of causing more damage than you could have ever anticipated.
When parents make the decision to get a divorce, children will always be impacted in some way. The longer you take to finalize the divorce and move on with your life, the longer the kids will be affected.
If you have decided to get a divorce, then you need to consider how exactly you will protect your children during the divorce process. Again, it's never going to be easy, but there are many ways you can protect the best interest of your kids before, during, and after the divorce.
To give readers a better understanding of protecting your children during a California divorce, our Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys are providing a review below.
Recognizing Symptoms Likely to Cause Problems
Protecting your kids during a divorce starts with identifying symptoms that will most likely cause stress. You need to observe your kids and look for signs of distress. Their emotional health during a divorce can be significantly impacted. Thus, you need recognize the types of behavior you need to avoid, including:
- Constant fighting between parents during the divorce
- Failing to fulfill your parental responsibilities
- Not providing emotional support to your kids
- Not providing financial support for your children
Parents should of course always put the best interest of their children as a top priority. Often, this means both parents finding a way to work together to focus on the same goal of keeping the kids safe and healthy.
Steps to Protect Your Children
Typically, parents will have different ideas on how to protect their kids during a divorce. Of course, every divorce is unique, but there are some tips than can help, including:
- Encourage spending time with both parents
- Maintain a regular routine with the kids
- Share expenses and responsibilities with other parent
- Regular communication with the children and other parent
- Reach an agreement with spouse on co-parenting
- Stay involved in the life of your children
- Protect your kids from conflict with other parent
- Focus of what's in the best interest of the kids
Protecting your children through a divorce will typically look different for each parent, but the main goal is your child's physical and emotional health.
What You Should Avoid in a Divorce to Protect Your Children
How to protect your children during a divorce also includes what type of behavior your need to avoid. There are some ways to minimize the negative impacts on your kids and to make the transition a little easier. Let's review.
Never ask your children to take sides. When you make the decision to get a divorce, there will always be some crucial decisions you will need to make, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.
It might seem like a good idea to just ask your children which parent they would rather live with, but this is putting your child in a very awkward situation. Don't attempt to persuade your child into making a decision by asking your kids to take a side. Don't make them choose which parent they want to live with as they will feel stuck in the middle of a fight.
Don't go to family court seeking justice. Parents are often tempted that perceived wrongs will be corrected in a family court trial. This is a misconception because the court will always side with what they believe is in the best interest of the children, which is often different that your own ideas.
Taking your divorce to trail is never a sure thing and will often end in an unexpected outcome. Don't let a family court judge determine the future of your children. You should always seek to reach an agreement with your spouse on child custody, support, and visitation issues.
Never speak negatively about the other parent. Remember, it's not about you and your feelings. It's what is in the best interest of your kids. Keep reminding yourself of the primary goal of protecting the children.
Even though you might have a lot of anger and resentment against your spouse, it doesn't mean the children need to have the same feelings.
If you start talking negatively about your spouse to the kids, then you are potentially causing long-term damage to their relationship with the other parent. In a situation where your child might be protective of your spouse them you are putting a serious strain on your relationship with them.
Get Help from Los Angeles Divorce and Family Law Attorneys
When getting a divorce, it's common to get consumed with the stress and all the negative impacts it will have on your life. However, you must prioritize your children's best interest and put their well-being at the top of your priority list.
It's also common to have a desire to somehow punish your spouse when you feel they are solely responsible for the divorce. This could include fighting for sole child custody or limiting the visitation time with the kids.
You need to stop and take a moment to reflect on what is in the best interest of your children. Put their needs above your needs and realize there are steps you can take to protect them.
Ask yourself some important questions. For example, do you children want to spend time with your spouse? Can your spouse provide them with a loving and supporting environment? Are they heavily involved in their lives?
You should attempt to reach an agreement with your spouse on a child custody plan that includes an arrangement that will mostly benefit your children.
If you are considering a divorce in California and need assistance navigating the process, call our law firm to review the details and options.
Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law lawyers located at 15821 Ventura Blvd #690 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case consultation at (818) 528-3471.