Common Mistakes Parents Make When Going Through a Divorce
Divorce is tough for all those involved, but it can be especially difficult for children. After a divorce, parents may notice changes in their children, such as plummeting grades, loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, distancing from friends and behavioural problems. A child’s response to a divorce may be influenced by his or her age, maturity and personality, as well as the way the parents handle the situation.
If you want to limit the adverse effects your divorce has on your children, here are some common mistakes you should avoid:
Posting grievances on social media
One of the biggest mistakes some parents make during a divorce is taking their issues to social media. If your children are old enough to have internet access, you might not be able to prevent them from seeing your posts, and if you say hateful things about their other parent, they may feel as if they need to take sides.
You should note as well that if you have a custody dispute that goes to court, a judge may see your posts as an indication of questionable judgement and may use them against you in the custody ruling. It would be helpful if you also were mindful of the messages you exchange with your spouse via text or email, as these communications can also work against in custody hearings.
Speaking badly about your ex
Even if you believe your ex-spouse is an awful person, you should never speak badly about them in the hearing of your children. Doing so may cause your children to lose respect for you, or it may affect their relationship with their other parent. If your former spouse has a new romantic partner, you should be respectful of them too.
Communicating through the children
Even if you find it difficult to speak with your spouse, you must not use your children as a go-between. If you find it to have face-to-face meetings or telephone conversions, communicate via text or email and remember to be civil.
Moving your children around frequently
If your custody arrangement stipulates that your children switch houses every few days, they may feel as though they are being bounced around. Consider fewer exchanges in favour of spending extended periods in each home.
When your children do spend time with the other parent, avoid forcing them to discuss what happens there. Also, you shouldn’t make your children feel guilty about spending time with their other parent by telling them how lonely or sad your feel when they are away.
Spoiling your children
At times, children use divorce as an opportunity to guilt their parents into buying them new things. Do not allow your children to refuse to visit you or threaten to go live with the other parent unless you give them something in return. Additionally, you should not try to bribe your children in the hopes that they will show favouritism towards you. And if you feel tempted to be more of a pal to your children because you blame yourself for putting them through a divorce, remember that your children need you to be a parent and not a friend.
Contact a divorce lawyer for help
Often parents make mistakes during a divorce because they allow emotions to guide their actions. One way to ensure that your feelings do not cloud your judgement is to consult a divorce lawyer. When you work with a divorce lawyer, they will fight to protect your parental rights and help to remain objective as they guide you through making decisions that are in the best interest of your children.
Are you searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer?
If you are searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law. At Baker and Baker Family Law, our divorce lawyers have over 90 years of combined experience. That means we are in a strong position to help you settle important matters such as child custody and access, child support and any other issue you need to settle in your divorce.
Give us a call today to schedule a legal consultation with one of our Toronto divorce lawyers. Let us show you how we can help.