Raising Children While Going Through a Divorce
Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful situations anyone ever has to go through. The situation becomes even more difficult when you have children, especially young children. Getting divorced later in life, with your children now grown adults with families of their own, might not be as hard on them as it is on you. But things are much different when you are going through a divorce while your children are still young and in your care.
How can you manage child rearing as a divorced parent? Can you still co-parent with your former spouse? Here are some tips for putting your children first after going through a divorce.
One of the first things you must do in order to be successful in child rearing as divorced parents is to improve your communication with the other parent. Even if it means you need to step up and be the bigger person, make it happen. The communication at all times with your ex must be purposeful, consistent and peaceful. If you make this a habit, you will find that raising your children after divorce will be much easier than one might expect.
Make Visitation and Transition Time Easy
Do everything in your power to make visitation and transition time easy on yourself, your former spouse and your child. A child can struggle with the move to a new home every couple of days or even one weekend per month. You will not be able to avoid transition time. Be sure to help your child as much as possible by doing the following:
- Help your child prepare for the change in location
- Pack in advance of the transition
- Drop the child off instead of picking them up
- Schedule downtime for when the child arrives
- Keep the basics at each house for the child to avoid double packing
- Allow your child to have some space
- Create a routine special to you and your child
Make an effort to foster engagement as much as possible with your child. This can be getting them engaged with activities outside the home and with other adults in the family. The more you foster engagement, the better off your child will be as you raise him or her as divorced parents. Doing this moves the focus from the love lives of the divorced parents to something the child can enjoy without worry.
Take Care of Yourself
This might seem like an obvious statement, but you must take care of yourself after going through a divorce. Why? If you are unable to recuperate emotionally from the divorce, it will show when you are around your child. It might also prevent them from moving on with their life. You need to make it a priority when it comes to taking care of yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to ignore your child or their emotional needs. You just have to be aware of your own mental and emotional health in order to help your child heal from the divorce.
Provide a United Front
One of the worst things you can do when child rearing as divorced parents is fight with each other all the time about how you are going to discipline your child or handle other issues. You need to provide a united front for your child. Even if the two of you don’t get along, you must unite on the following issues:
- Similar rules
- Similar disciplinary actions
- Consistency in the child’s schedule
A united front also comes into play when it comes time to make decisions about your child’s life. Both of you should have a say in the medical care, financial upbringing, and education of your child. One parent should not decide where the child is going to attend school or how medical treatment will be handled. You both need to find a common ground.
Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Have you decided that you can no longer stay married to your spouse? Have you gone through mediation? Did you attend therapy? If so, it’s time to speak to an experienced and trusted family law attorney in Pensacola, Florida. With offices in Pensacola, Sandestin and Fort Walton Beach; the team from the Spencer Law Group, PA can help you understand what it takes to file for divorce. Call our office in Pensacola at 850-912-8080 to schedule a consultation.