Divorce often allows former partners in a dysfunctional couple to feel as though they can wipe the metaphorical slate clean and go their separate ways towards whatever happiness was lacking in the relationship. In situations such as these, which include only two parties, a minimal amount of communication may be ideal, and even possible. However, situations that involve parents divorcing may require them to communicate more frequently and openly than they have in quite some time for the sake of their children.
Divorce does not have to break up the family. There are ways to ensure that devoted co-parents, despite the change in the dynamics of their relationship with each other, maintain a functional family unit in which their children feel just as loved and supported as they did prior to the divorce.
- Do not force the children to take sides – It is vital for the stability of the family unit that the trust and emotional closeness felt in the child-parent relationship remains intact. Research shows that these two elements weaken with the breaking of the home. Therefore, the co-parents must make an effort to be civil towards each other at all times. Do not compete for the children’s affections or force them to take sides by over-parenting, blaming your ex for the breakup, or by undermining the authority of your ex by attempting to control what goes on when they are alone with the children.
- Keep the children’s daily routine as much intact as possible – The divorce process can create chaos in the lives of all involved. It is important for co-parents to provide their children with as much stability as possible. Make an effort to: keep them in the same school, keep them involved in the same activities, keep them on the same schedule for meals, chores, and bedtime, keep the interactions between the children and both of their parents consistent. In ideal situations, co-parents would live only a short distance from each other to ensure a maximum level of involvement in the lives of their children.
- Be open and honest when answering questions from the children about the divorce – Whether it be at the beginning stages of the divorce process or after the dust has settled, the children are going to want answers to certain questions. It is important that the co-parents remain open and honest with their children, as well as with each other when answering questions, such as “Why are you getting divorced?”, “Is it my fault? or,“Do we have to move?”.
If you are going through a divorce, see how Simonetti & Associates located on Long Island can help you!