When parents in New York get a divorce, they might be worried about its effects on their children. There are certain actions they can take and avoid to help their children through this time. For example, parents should offer their children distractions and monitor them for signs of depression.
Parents should protect their children from whatever conflict they may be having with one another. This includes not using children to carry messages back and forth and not questioning children about the other parent’s actions. Children should be encouraged to maintain a relationship with the other parent. If the child speaks negatively about the other parent, a parent should remain neutral and talk through the child’s issues. Parents should not engage if children express a desire to live with the other parent and should not relax discipline or buy gifts for children because they feel guilty.
They should also not share inappropriate information with children such as that they are having parenting conflicts or the details of the divorce in an effort to get the children to take sides. Parents should not rely on their children for emotional support and should not fight with the other parent during drop offs and pickups. They should encourage children to move ahead with their lives and usual activities and should present a united front to their children.
It may be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with the other parent after a divorce. However, parents can start the process of creating a functioning co-parenting relationship during the divorce. If they are able to focus on the best interests of the child and negotiate a child custody agreement with the help of their respective attorneys, this may be a better start than litigation.