- Spend time with your child.
Spend as much time as possible with your child and enjoy things that take the focus off the divorce. If you have more than one child, do not show favoritism to one child over the other and if possible, be sure to spend equal time with each child.
- Keep a routine.
This is not the time to make unnecessary changes in the child’s life. Try to keep the child in the home and school with which he or she is familiar. If you must make changes, keep the child in contact with the children and adults to whom he or she is attached.
- Get additional training and help.
If possible, attend a parent education seminar or class within 30 days after filing for divorce. Please call our office at 979-849-8526, and our staff can help you find a class near you as well as the dates and times of each class. Click here for information on “For Kid’s Sake” seminars in Brazoria County.
- Be civil to your spouse during the divorce.
Divorce is stressful enough without adding angry, hostile and other negative behaviors. While you and your spouse will not agree on all issues, keep everything as civil as possible and allow the attorneys and judge to do their jobs. Negative behaviors will affect your children whether you are aware of it or not.
- Don’t force your child to choose sides.
Do not verbally attack your spouse within your child’s hearing range. Do not coerce or bribe your child to choose you as the custodial parent. If the other parent insists on involving your child in the fight, resist the urge to do the same.
- Do not discuss litigation issues with your child.
Do not discuss litigation issues, such as court hearings, discovery and other adult matters that children should not be forced to deal with.
- Don’t expose your child to a new romantic partner until after the divorce.
Your child may be hurt and confused by this new relationship. Additionally, it may complicate your divorce and lead to additional turmoil between you and your spouse. Most children are too young and immature to handle these types of situations. Please wait until after the divorce is final before introducing that new person to your children.
- Avoid issues over child support.
A child should not know that child support designated for him or her is causing problems. Additionally, a child should not be told that the other parent is more concerned about the money than the child. Discussing child support with your child may make your child feel that he or she is at fault for the problems it is creating. For example, don’t make statements in front of your child like “‘I would buy you new shoes if only your mother/father would pay child support.”
- Follow the orders of the court and avoid conflict over possession periods.
The common reasons parents are unable to comply with possession orders are:
- Failure to have the child ready or return the child on time
- Failure to give the other parent important information such as places and times of school and extracurricular activities
- Failure to understand the terms of the order or decree. If you have questions, call us first so we can address the issue before it becomes a problem that may result in further litigation because the other parent became angry.
- Failure to send or return a child’s belongings
- Finally, have confidence in yourself as a parent.
All parents have made and will continue to make mistakes with their children, and divorce can sometimes add to the stress a parent feels. Trust your abilities as a parent and continue to show your children that you love them.