If you are a parent who has been divorced, you know that it can have a significant impact on your children. Once the divorce is concluded, it is important to remember that things usually get better. In the meantime, you don’t want to do anything to cause irreparable damage to your child. Here are some rules to help you be the best divorced parent you can be.
Remember the good parts. Helping your children hold on to and cherish positive family memories can preserve their sense of security and de-emphasize the negativity that tends to permeate a divorce. When possible, continue to create positive experiences with your ex-spouse, for the sake of your children. Just because a marriage has ended does not mean the entire family must crumble with it. Nurture the good parts and encourage a continued relationship between your child and his/her other parent.
Present a united front. One of the biggest struggles for divorced parents is dealing with important decisions as children grow older. Be sure to maintain open communication with the other parent by including him/her in significant decisions involving school, life events, and health issues. It is crucial that, to the extent possible, you continue to work with your ex-spouse to make decisions that are best for the children. If the issue is one that is likely to lead to an argument, don’t have that discussion in the presence of the children. Save adult conversations for another time.
Don’t talk badly about your ex-spouse in front of your children. This is especially important while your children are forming attachments and relationships with their parents. Perhaps your former spouse was unfaithful. That is a legitimate offense against you, and it’s painful. But sharing the details in front of, or even worse, to your children can only hurt them. Remember that a child’s self-image is affected by his perception of his parents. You are your child’s first role model. They may find themselves having to defend a beloved parent, to another beloved parent. Don’t turn your dispute with your spouse into your child having to make a choice between parents. You don’t have to sing the praises of your ex-spouse every time his/her name comes up in conversation, but save the verbal dressing-down for private conversations without the children. Always be respectful of each other in their presence and in conversation.
Do not infringe on the other parent’s time. It is important to create a comprehensive parenting agreement and stick to it. Be on time when picking up or dropping off your child. Do not schedule activities on the other parent’s time without first discussing it with your ex-spouse. If a schedule change is required, address it immediately instead of waiting until the last minute.
Responsible parents, even after a divorce, put the well-being of their children first, minimizing the trauma of divorce as much as possible. Bear in mind, your children have a life of their own, with interests that should be reasonably accommodated.
If you need guidance in making sure your children’s needs are prioritized in your divorce, please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at email@example.com or 301-575-0381.
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
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