A child-centered divorce keeps the children at the center of the action without putting them in the middle of the divorce.
During a child-centered divorce, the parents keep the focus on resolving the divorce without emotionally damaging the children. Consequently, engaging in a child-centered divorce action can limit the negative impact a divorce can have on children. Children generally will adjust to the fact that their parents are divorcing, but they will adjust much better in the long run if parents can work through the divorce putting their children’s needs first and foremost.
While the emotional turmoil and explosive arguments between divorcing parents may not have an overall impact on the divorce itself, it can have a devastatingly negative impact on the children.
During the divorce, parents should agree to not argue in front of the children. In addition, remember that just because the children may not be in the same room as you and your spouse, does not mean that cannot hear the arguing between you and your spouse. So, don’t argue in front of the children, but also do not argue within the hearing of the children.
Remember this, children are children and should never have to worry about adult things.
Don’t talk to them about the divorce. Don’t say negative things about the other parent either to or in the presence of or hearing of the children. Don’t ask their advice or input regarding anything relating to the divorce and do not use them to deliver messages or anything else to the other parent.
It is important for children to understand that even though you and their other parent are divorcing, the child will continue to be loved and cherished by you both. You and the other parent should work together as team both during the divorce and afterwards to ensure that your children continue to feel as loved, secure, happy and as untroubled as possible.
Let them know often that it is important to you that they have a positive relationship with the other parent Let them know that both you and the other parent are committed to ensure that their life during and after divorce will change as little as possible.
In light of the above, it is important to note that litigating your divorce in court usually ends up pitting you and your spouse against each other.
Litigation is an adversarial process and inevitably you and your spouse will treat each other as adversaries. This can make reaching your goal of a child centered divorce difficult at best. Whether you are just contemplating divorce or have made the decision that divorce is inevitable, look into the Collaborative Divorce process whereby you and your spouse work together with your attorneys and team neutrals to come to a final resolution which is best for everyone but first and foremost the children.
How you hand your divorce now can have a profound effect on how your child relates to you and the other parent in the future.