How To Handle Child Custody Agreement After A Divorce
When there are children involved in a divorce it makes everything harder for the parents. Not only is each spouse going through their own personal grief at the failure of the marriage, they also have to manage the kids through this tough time.
Whilst children are far more resilient than many of us give them credit for, it is critical that parents are attentive to their needs during this incredibly tough stage of their lives. Many children, especially those very young, will blame themselves for the breakup of their parents. Whilst this is of course never the case, a young mind really doesn’t know any better. For this reason family law professionals will always speak to parents about the need to nurse their children through the divorce. Once the child custody agreement has been made, be it through an amicable decision or because of the deacon of a judge, here is how best to handle the kids in the initial months and years after the divorce has gone through.
Sticking to the Agreement
Many separated parents begin with the very best of intentions to maintain an amicable relationship with the other parent following a divorce and a custody agreement. Eventually in many cases however, this can turn sour. In some situations this happens when one spouse finds a new partner, yet in most cases it comes down to one not completing their side of the custody agreement. A good relationship can mean that there is wiggle room when it comes to swapping days of care because of certain reasons. Unfortunately however we often see one parent fail to deliver on their side of the deal, and this can cause fractions. A child needs both parents in their lives and this is why custody agreements are drawn up in the first place. For the good of the kids, it is vital that both parties do what they have agreed to.
Seeking Family Therapy
Looking for professional support as your kids go through this tough time doesn’t make anyone a bad parent. In fact through seeking out family therapy options and giving it a try, a parent will in fact be doing something incredible that actually could benefit the child greatly. Kids don’t always want to talk to their parents about these deep rooted feelings, and they may be more likely to speak with a trained professional. If you kids harbor these feelings they can do damage in the long run. This is why family therapy may be something worth trying. If you take your child to a professional and they do not wish to talk, then at least you will have tried.
Maintaining A Normal Life
It is completely normal for a parent to feel guilt towards the child because they are no longer together with the other parent. What often happens in this kind of situation is that the parents will shower gifts on the child or take them out for some special days. There is never anything wrong with spoiling your kids, but this shouldn’t become the new normal. What kids need at this tumultuous time in their lives is a level of stability, and continuing as close to normal as possible is what you should be focused on. This can of course be ought when you see your child hurting, yet it is critical for their long term emotional wellbeing.
Discussing The Ex
Whatever your feelings may be about your ex partner you should never air them in front of your children. Sadly we often see parents trying to badmouth the other in front of their kids, which is completely unfair on the child. You may have lost your partner but to your children that is still their parent. Any feelings which your kids may have about your ex should be something that they have decided based on the way that they are treated by them, and what they see of them.
Using The Kids
In cases where the divorce has not been amicable, some parents will use the kids as a way to get back at their ex partner. This could be withholding their time with them or doing the opposite to inconvenience the other parent. Once again this is a situation whereby no parent should ever involve their children in any ill feelings which they have towards their ex partner. The kids are wholly innocent in this situation and any problems you may have are between you and your ex spouse. It is a selfish act to try and use the children as pawns in this game of chess.
Both parties have a responsibility to notify the court if anything changes in their personal circumstances. A child custody agreement is not set in stone and it can be tweaked and changed in order to meet any new needs which the kids have. If you lose your job, get a promotion or perhaps are planning to move away, you will absolutely have to let the court know so that changes can be made. Changes can easily be made to the amount of time that a child is in the care of either parent, and child maintenance fees can also be changed based on circumstances. This is even more true if you lose contact with your ex partner, or if you cease speaking. The court will be able to decide what to do based on the new information which they are presented with.
This is not a good situation for anyone involved, but the most important people in this situation are the children. What happens in the months and years following a divorce will shape the way that the child develops, hence why managing their emotions through this is so important. It may require some strength on your part, but it is critical to making sure that your kids come through this situation as unscathed as possible. This should be the approach of both parents under these circumstances.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes