If you are a parent who is going through a divorce then you will find that
your case will be quite different from a divorce that does not feature
two parents. Parents understand that their actions have a direct and often
disproportionate effect on the lives and well being of their children.
With this in mind, it’s possible that in the weeks and days leading
up to your considering a divorce your biggest concern laid not with paying
for an attorney or deciding what to do with the family home, but in breaking
the news of the divorce to your children.
Without belaboring the point too much, your children will certainly be
affected by your divorce no matter how stressful or stress free the process
actually is. If we take into consideration the fact that your child has
probably been exposed to more bickering and fighting at home than you
would probably like it is no wonder that you may want to minimize any
unnecessary stresses early and often during the actual divorce.
What is it about the divorce that will most likely bother your children the most?
Do you think that not seeing you or your spouse as frequently that will
potentially harm your children the most? What about the aforementioned
exposure to fighting between you and your spouse? From my perspective
it is neither of these things. What can be potentially damaging to your
children is the ever-present reality for your children that you and your
spouse are fighting and in the middle of a conflict that will not be settled
any time soon. Seeing you and your spouse engaged not just in verbal arguments
but deep seated quarrels over the fundamental issues of your family can
be especially damaging to them. Often times, just moving forward with
a divorce and removing the long term issues that have led to the arguments
can be of great relief to your children.
Becoming familiar with the Best Interest of your children
I think on a general level every parent would, if asked, say that he or
she operates and makes decisions that are in the best interest of their
children. Even if you are engaged in a bitter divorce case with your spouse
it is unlikely that you would let the animosity you are currently feeling
towards him or her boil over and affect your relationship with and parenting
of your children.
This may be the saving grace for your divorce, in all actuality. If you
are able to place the interests of your children before those of yourself
then you will have eliminated much of the stress that your children will
experience during the case. This means that blaming your spouse for the
breakup of your marriage, criticizing their parenting skills or questioning
their motivations for taking particular actions should all be avoided
while the divorce is ongoing. You or your spouse no longer living in the
martial home will go a long way towards decreasing the opportunities for
these potentially problematic interactions to occur as well.
My last point on this subject has to do with making this sort of decorum
the norm for the remainder of your life. Every divorce decree in Texas
will have some sort of provision included that bars you or your spouse
from making derogatory comments about the other parent in front of your
children. With this future in mind, you might as well start practicing
this sort of behavior now so that it becomes second nature to you after
the divorce has been finalized.
Avoid alienating behavior
The prohibition of derogatory language directed at your ex spouse ties
in nicely with my next piece of advice on how to help your children from
feeling the brunt of the divorce’s emotional hardships. If your
or your spouse’s behavior towards the other begins to effect your
children’s perception of the target of your negative language, then
you may be in a situation where parental alienation is occurring. Basically,
if you or your spouse are becoming emotionally or physically disconnected
from your children due to one of your actions or words then this can be
quite damaging to your children.
What exactly am I talking about here? Some examples of alienating behavior
include manipulating your child into believing falsehoods about your spouse,
purposefully ignoring requests by the other parent to speak to the children
while in your care, or displaying rash and aggressive behavior towards
your spouse. All of these actions, whether intentional or not, can be
construed as alienation. Not only will this sort of behavior negatively
affect your children but it will draw the ire of your judge as well.
Mediation as a means to solve issues
Utilizing a family law mediator, rather than the court, to solve the issues
of your divorce is good method to avoid the sort of behavior that can
harm your children’s psyche during your divorce. The reason for
this is mediation is extremely effective in settling cases and eliminating
the need for protracted litigation and/or negotiation between you and
your spouse. The less time that has to be spent discussing the issues
that are the most divisive means more time to spend parenting and softening
the blow of the divorce on your children.
You and your spouse, no matter how upset you are with one another know
what is best for your children much more so than a judge would. For this
reason, if you can put aside your issues with one another for a short
mediation session then a more desirable outcome should follow for you,
your spouse and your children.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan: Family focused attorneys for southeast Texas
If you have questions about divorce, family or your children please do
not hesitate to
Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. Our licensed
family law attorneys are available six days per week to meet with you to answer questions
and listen to your concerns during a free of charge consultation. We represent
clients across southeast Texas and would be honored to do the same for you.