Forcing Your Children to Take Sides in a Divorce
In the aftermath of a divorce, your emotions can get the better of you. The sense of loss that comes with divorce can leave you with feelings of shame, anger and low self-esteem. Often, in a misguided effort to feel better about yourself, you can say or do things designed to get your kids to love you, but which only force them to take sides in your dispute with your ex. Unfortunately, all you really end up doing is taking a situation that is already extremely painful for your child and making it more so.
Don’t Punish Your Children to Punish Your Ex
It’s normal to feel loss and hurt during and after a divorce. Unfortunately, our society has a tendency to encourage acts of retribution against those we believe have hurt us. The reality, though, is that it’s almost impossible to punish your ex-spouse without direct or residual harm to your children. If you are the custodial parent, speaking disparagingly about your ex, about his or her living conditions, about his or her behaviors, only tends to confuse your children and to increase their anxiety when it’s time for visitation. In most instances, your children love both of you, and they already feel the pain of the absence of one parent. Making negative remarks about that parent can make them afraid of going to visit, or can lead to feelings of guilt if they don’t have the same perspective.
By the same token, if you are the non-custodial parent, there’s nothing to be gained by denigrating the custodial parent. This is where your children will spend most of their days and nights. Do you want them living in fear or doubt all that time?
Contact Morgenstern & Rochester
At Morgenstern & Rochester, our two partners have almost 50 years of combined family law experience. We are a boutique family law firm that takes a hands-on approach. When you hire us, you will always work directly with one of our partners, never with an inexperienced associate or a paralegal.