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Caring for your children amidst a custody battle

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Arranging the custody and care of your children may cause conflict during your divorce. Disagreements about the best interests of your children may cause tension.

Continuing to parent during this unprecedented time can feel challenging to say the least. However, your commitment to putting your children first may help you establish credibility with the court.

Respect boundaries

Despite your divorce, your children still rely on your spouse as a parenting figure. Their relationships with both of their parents may provide considerable support throughout their life. The Mayo Clinic warns against the consequences of bad mouthing your ex in the presence of your children. This damaging behavior may inadvertently cause parental alienation. Your children may develop unrealistic biases because of what they hear.

As you adjust to life as a single parent, establish and maintain boundaries to protect you and your children. However, be mindful of the behaviors you use to enforce those boundaries. When speaking about your ex, never say anything hurtful or negative around your children. Discussing your concerns with a therapist or other trusted adult can help you process your emotions in productive ways that will not harm your children.

Provide support

Your children will undoubtedly feel the impact of your divorce. As a result, behaviors may change and challenges may arise. From the onset of your divorce, encourage your children to communicate with you. Listen intently to their concerns. Brainstorm with them to find solutions.

Working with a therapist can help your children understand the root cause of their feelings, as well as what they can do to cope with the changes in their family. Your ability to balance the changes to your relationship with your ability to parent may help you minimize the negative impacts of divorce on your children.

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