In the blog 7 Tips for Putting Children First in a Divorce, I discussed how to have a child-centered divorce and the benefits to children. The other side of the equation is the common mistakes that parents make when they put their needs ahead of the children’s needs.
1. Parents Making Assumptions that are NOT in Their Child’s Best Interest:
If you don’t purposely and intentionally keep the children’s needs as your top priority during the divorce, they can get lost in the process. For example, some parents recall their own experience as children of divorce and impose their feelings on their children. Don’t make assumptions. While being mindful of the difficult divorce you lived through as a child can make you more empathetic to what your children may experience, remember that your experiences and feelings may also keep you from being open to what would be best for YOUR children. For example, just because you felt that it was too hard for you to move back and forth between your parents’ homes after their divorce, start with a fresh slate, so to speak, and consider what might be best for your children. This not only means considering your kids’ unique personalities, but also the co-parenting relationship you plan to have with your soon-to-be-ex and the possibilities for your new housing arrangements. For your children, going back and forth often between two homes might be better than being away from one of their parents for an extended period. Only after you get advice about your situation and understand what your children need, should you make these decisions.