I recently was alerted (thanks Daniel, Paul, and Rachel!) to an article on the Diefenbach, PLLC (New York divorce attorneys) website. The article is entitled “Divorce and Child Custody: It’s About the Child“. It offers some good advice for divorcing parents. Some of the points I particularly liked were:
“Understand that Your Children Aren’t Divorcing”. In most cases the children are going to continue to be parented by both parents. As much as you may be angry at your spouse, it is important for the children to continue to have as positive a relationship as possible with both parents. They will be better off if you can avoid making negative comments about the other parent, avoid fighting in front of the children, and avoid putting the children in the middle. DON’T ask them which parent they would rather live with, DON’T use them to spy on the other parent, and DON’T use them to carry messages to the other parent.
“Consider an Alternative to Court”. Litigation is an adversarial process. Being adversaries is not conducive to co-parenting. Consider using an alternative dispute resolution process like Mediation or Collaboration to help the two of you work out peaceful solutions and lay the basis for future cooperation as a family living in two households rather than one.
There are many other good pieces of advice in the article as well, so check it out yourself!