I’ve witnessed countless families transition through divorce, and the way parents navigate the divorce process will have a direct impact on their children’s well-being.
Some parents are able to maintain stability during divorce, while others are overcome with fear and anxiety. The hurt and pain a parent experience can be all-consuming, causing them to shift their focus from their children, who were previously the center of their world, inward to themselves. These are not bad parents – they’re just trying to survive what is likely one of the most difficult times in their lives. I want parents to know that not only can they make it through divorce, but they can create a new life for themselves and an even better relationship with their children.
I’ve seen how the parent-child bond can become even stronger when mothers and fathers have more one-on-one time dedicated to their children. While parents often miss their children when they’re with the other parent, that time away allows parents to take care of work commitments, life necessities and their own health, so that they can be present and engaged during the times they do have their children.
Here are some ways parents can be intentional about giving their children their best during divorce:
Make your time with your children count.
Don’t be distracted by other people, your phone, or social media. While having to work is a reality for most people, do your best to manage your time in a way that allows you to give your full attention to your children in non-work hours. They deserve it and so do you.
Take your children to their events when they are in your possession.
Children know their team is counting on them to show up, and they also want to see their friends at special occasions. Spending time with you should not mean your child will be kicked off the soccer team for not showing up to practices/games or that your child will not get to go to their best friend’s birthday party.
Don’t discuss financial issues with your children.
They should not be worrying about things they can’t control, like how much child support will be paid and whether that will be enough to cover the mortgage. I don’t think any parent intentionally makes their children feel like they are burdens, but when parents discuss financial issues related to divorce with their children, this is inevitable.
Don’t make your children haul their belongings between two households.
It can be embarrassing to bring a big bag to school to take to mom or dad’s house, and having to pack a lot of items to spend time with a parent can make children feel like that parent’s house is not their home. Your children should have two homes with everything they need, so the transition between each parent’s house is not a source of stress.
Don’t make your children worry about getting “your” things back.
The items you buy for your children are for them, not for you or the other parent. If you buy your daughter her favorite pair of Air Force 1s, she should be able to wear them all the time, not just when she’s at your house.
Let your children know it makes you happy to see them enjoying their time with their other parent.
Children sometimes feel an instinct to take sides or be protective of a parent. Your children should be free to continue or build a strong bond with both parents without the fear of thinking that their relationship with one parent will hurt their other parent.
Your children love both you and their other parent, and regardless of the reason for the divorce, it will be in your children’s best interest to continue to have a strong and loving relationship with both parents. This will benefit your children as they transition through divorce and make their own journey to their new normal.
Divorce brings about a lot of change, but one thing it should not change is the strong bond between a mother and a child. To discuss how you can meet your and your children’s needs during divorce, call Angel Berbarie.
Angel offers high-level experience in managing large asset cases, including complex property divisions. She is skilled in solving challenging financial and child custody issues, including divorces where the parties have interests in businesses, significant retirement, or investments to be divided, and where a customized possession schedule is needed to meet the family’s needs. Angel is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and was named a “Texas Rising Star” by Thompson Reuters, 2012-2018. She has also been recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in family law by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2022.
Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.