Divorce is extremely stressful, and things only get more complicated when there are children involved. For children, divorce can be confusing and scary. As a parent, it's your job to make sure that as you and your spouse transition into a life separate from one another, your sons and daughters are able to make that transition as smoothly as possible. Here's a look at a few tips for minimizing the amount of stress and anxiety placed on your children during the divorce process.
Hire an Attorney
The first step to keeping your divorce simple and stress-free for your kids is to hire a divorce attorney right from the get-go. Steve Sufrin has worked with countless individuals and families going through the divorce process and understands what it takes to create a safe and nurturing environment for children after their parents have separated. Our team can work with you to come to an agreement with your ex with regards to legal custody of the children, living arrangements, child support, visitation schedules, and more. Having an attorney work with you on these types of arrangements is a critical part of keeping things civil between you and your former spouse so that your children can transition into this new way of life without fear and anxiety. Working with legal representation helps to remove much of the emotional turmoil and drama so that you can focus on what's truly best for the kids.
When a child is born, there's no question of who the mother is. Even in committed, long-term marriages, though, paternity can come into question. Without legally establishing paternity, a father may find himself stripped of his parental rights. Conversely, without the legal establishment of paternity, a mother may be forced to grant visitation to a man who is not legally the father of her child. It's a good idea to go through all of the proper channels and legally establish paternity in order to guarantee that no problems arise as the result of your failure to do so.
Obey Court Orders
Once the court makes a ruling about custody, visitation (or "parenting time"), and/or child support, you must comply with this ruling. Even if you disagree with the decision that was initially made, you should never violate a court order as this can lead to much more trouble. Trying to keep your kids longer than the allotted visitation period, for example, could result in a kidnapping charge or you could be held in contempt of court. This is very traumatic for your children and could result in your inability to spend any time with them at all. Failure to pay child support in full and on time, too, is a huge mistake. You may believe that the amount is unreasonable, but that doesn't mean that you can make the decision not to pay. This is harmful to your children and could lead to penalties. It's imperative that you always go through the court and petition for changes to be made to the ruling instead of doing whatever you believe is right and fair.
Wherever possible, it's always in the best interest of you and your children to work to cooperate with your ex and keep communications open at all times. Your relationship with your ex will impact your children whether you realize it or not, so try to work together and keep things civil. Trust us - though it may be difficult with some couples, we urge you to grin and bear it for everyone involved.