As two splitting spouses enter a divorce, one of the most difficult and emotional issues on the table is child custody. Navigating such a complex matter is critical – not just for you and your ex-spouse, but most importantly for the well-being of your child.
There are three things to consider about your child when your divorce proceedings inevitably tackle the issue of child custody. The first is realizing that as hard as you try to keep any arguments with your spouse under wraps, your child knows what is really going on.
Kids are smart and impressionable, and even if you think you are remaining completely neutral in your actions and comments towards your soon-to-be-ex, there are minor facial expressions and body language that will tell your child that things aren’t quite what they seem.
Secondly, when a divorce happens, it is very common for the parents to tell their children that the split is not their fault. While it would be great if just telling your children this was the end of story, it is not that simple.
A child can think the exact opposite, and as your children develop they could carry the impressions they get from your divorce into adulthood, affecting their relationships later on in life. So sit down with your spouse to create an age-appropriate response for your child, and deliver that message with their well-being in mind.
Last but not least, remember that resolving conflict and conducting proper demeanor between you and your ex-spouse before, during and after your divorce can help your child deal with the divorce. Obviously, conflict is an inherent part of a divorce, but that doesn’t mean your child has to suffer the consequences. Be proactive and discuss your divorce with an attorney to get a handle on your separation and to help your child endure the split.
Source: Huffington Post, “The Kids’ Will Be Just Fine And Other Divorce Myths,” Claire Barnes, Feb. 3, 2012