Divorcing parents spend a great deal of time dividing one household into two futures. From the financial aspects of support and property division to the practical impact of a sustainable parenting plan, parents must work together through countless negotiating sessions to carefully examine numerous contingencies. In many ways, however, parents subscribe to many myths centering on the children – myths that can ultimately prove harmful.
- The younger the child, the less impactful the divorce: This common thinking can be dangerous. It is possible that even a two-year-old child has a well-adjusted sense of self and their environment. Children can sense when their reality is shifting and begin to build memories based on that upheaval. Many parents kid themselves into thinking their toddlers won’t even remember the disruptive relationship they witnessed.
- Splitting a holiday in half is better for the children: It might make logistical sense to divide a holiday. Spending Christmas Eve with dad, for example, and Christmas Day with mom might seem like the easiest way to split custody. However, this can be a disruptive action – especially when any level of travel is involved. It is wise to use the parenting plan to determine alternative plans.
- Children should be told the truth about a “bad” parent: While a parent might feel like they are acting appropriately by being honest with a child, statements about the ex can be hurtful. Children often see the parents as extensions of themselves and constant stories about infidelity, poor behavior or illegal activity can lead to psychological disorders and parental alienation.
Every family and every divorce is different. Different dynamics define different relationships. What is good for one family will not necessarily work for another. Through the entire divorce process, it is crucial that the parents continue to interact and communicate honestly with each other. It can be damaging to all involved to hold grudges and harbor destructive feelings toward your ex in the months and years following the divorce.
Work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently from start to finish.