Parenting through Divorce
Divorce can certainly throw a wrench into parenting, particularly if the divorce is particularly contentious or complicated. For many divorcing parents, settling property disputes, drafting an agreement, and going to court can seem like the most logical priorities because they obviously involve the parties’ legal interests. But it would be a mistake for divorcing parents to believe that only those types of obligations can affect the legal intricacies of their cases and their futures.
One of the most influential factors in determining how child support and custody plans and other post-divorce obligations will function and affect divorced parents’ lives is not what happens in the courtroom, but instead what happens at home.
How can divorced parents deal with childrearing as they navigate the legal process while bolstering and not sabotaging their interests? Consider these strategies:
Make Things Businesslike
Parents who are divorcing often overlook the importance of maintaining cordial relationships with their soon-to-be ex-spouses, which is important not only because it helps children feel comfortable, but also because presenting as a courteous and respectful person to ex-spouses and to the court can put a divorcing parent in the best position to secure his or her interests. If you are a divorcing parent and are having difficulty dividing your personal relationship with your ex-spouse from your need to cooperate with them, consider establishing a businesslike relationship with your ex-spouse. Adopt clear, direct, and written communication methods, schedule and keep reliable meetings with clear agendas, and always stay focused on the topic at hand.
Keep the Kids Out of It
Avoid putting children in a position to choose between their parents. Do not discuss divorce issues with or near your children, and control your facial expressions and body language (remember, children are very perceptive!). Aside from putting your children in an uncomfortable position, involving your children in this way or shining a negative light on their other parent will likely be seen poorly by the court, and could damage your chances of securing your desired custody and child support arrangements.
Children will benefit from seeing their daily rituals, environments, and relationships remain consistent during periods of great change like divorce. And practicing reliability as a parent, aside from helping your children cope with the changing circumstances, can demonstrate a strong capacity to hold primary custody. It can also ingratiate yourself to your ex-spouse and to the courts as a responsible and reasonable person, as well as raise your bargaining power at the negotiations table.
If you are a parent in the process of divorce, avoid becoming too tied up with legalities to take care of other, similarly important personal obligations. One of the best ways to ensure you are able to strike this balance is by acquiring the help of an experienced divorce attorney, who can handle the legal nuts and bolts while you reorganize your priorities, your life, and your family. At Schwartz | White, our experienced Tampa Bay divorce and family law attorneys are ready to help you and your family work through this change. Call 561-391-9943 for a consultation today.