Choosing to end a marriage that involves children is rarely a simple choice, and many times results in lasting emotional damage for everyone involved. The divorce process is often particularly difficult for the children, especially if they are old enough to experience the profound loss of parents splitting but too young to fully process the reasons behind the divorce.
If you and your spouse find that you need to end your marriage, it is possible to approach the process in a way that minimizes the emotional damage it may cause to your children, if you make this a priority.
In many instances, the greatest strains on children develop when parents choose to use children against each other during the divorce process. As a parent facing the dissolution of a family, it is easy to have tunnel vision and forget about the long-term implications of actions taken during a divorce, and many parents do just this. Of course, over time, children often piece together the actions and motivations of each parent, which may seriously compromise the parent-child relationship.
As you approach your own divorce, even in instances where you feel that your spouse grievously harmed you, it is wise to consider the impact of your actions on your children, especially if you consider using your children as leverage against the other parent. While this may seem like a sound strategy, and may produce positive short-term results, it is rarely the wisest course of action if you value your relationships with your children in the future.
On the contrary, choosing to use a civil approach to divorce, even when it is difficult, provides your children with a strong model for how to respond to difficult circumstances they will likely face later in their own lives. As you consider the kind of legal representation to seek out for your divorce, be sure to consider the skills an attorney brings to the table, as it concerns protecting your children and keeping your divorce civil while protecting your rights and priorities.
Source: FindLaw, “Divorce: Easing the Strain on Children,” accessed April 13, 2018