Scales of Justice

Protecting Your Children in a Divorce

If you are considering divorce, one of your primary concerns should be the welfare and protection of your children. They should always come first, and should not have to suffer because you and/or your spouse elected to divorce.

There are steps you (and your spouse) can take to minimize the impact of a divorce on your children:

  • First, if possible, you and your spouse should present a united front to explain to your children that although you may have irreconcilable differences, and can no longer remain married to each other, they still have a mother and father who love them and care for them very much, and the divorce will not change that relationship in any way.
  • Second, regardless of your feelings toward each other, you should never use your children as pawns in a divorce.
  • The third thing you should do to protect your children and minimize the impact of a divorce on them does not force your children or encourage your children to take sides in the divorce.
  • Fourth, do not bad mouth your spouse in front of your children. Remember, your spouse is still their mother or father.
  • Fifth, your children do not need additional reminders of the divorce and do not need to witness any points of contention. Therefore, do not use your children as messengers to your spouse. Your children should not be the ones to tell your spouse they are not complying with a court order or have failed to live up to their end of an agreement; that is one of the reasons why you retain an experienced divorce lawyer.
  • The sixth thing you should do to protect your children and minimize the impact of a divorce on them is never acting out in front of them, including discussing disputes and interrogating your children for information about your spouse.

Remember, your children are victims of circumstances. They may already feel responsible for your divorce, and to them, it is breaking up their family. They need to understand their lives will not be severely impacted by the divorce and that they will always be loved and cared for, regardless of the divorce.

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