The lawyers of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt of Raleigh, North Carolina understand that most parents are concerned about the effects of separation and divorce on their children. However, many unknowingly engage in behavior that is harmful to the children. If you or someone you know is involved in a custody dispute with their spouse here are some tips to avoid having the children caught in the crossfire:
1. Make sure your children understand that they are not the reason for the divorce. Keep the explanation simple, “your mother and I can no longer live together happily. You need to know that this has nothing to do with you. Your mom and I both love you very much and nothing will change that.”
2. Take care when discussing litigation. Your children do not need to know the sum and substance of all legal documents, depositions, and proceedings. If you and your spouse are unable to decide the issue of custody, you may wish to offer a simply explanation like “a judge is going to decide the time you will spend with your mommy and daddy because we both love you very much and can’t agree.”
3. Allow the children to love both parents. Create an environment where the children can be free to love both parents. If you cringe or change the subject when your child brings up Daddy’s name, you may be sending a message to your child that you do not approve of his or her relationship with your ex.
4. Do not send messages through your children. If you are unable to communicate by any means with your ex whether in-person, by phone, or e-mail, you may wish to consider co-parenting counseling or request a parent coordinator.
5. Do not say disparaging things about the other parent in front of the children. Judges will expect you to be supportive of the children’s relationship with their other parent
6. Be supportive of your children’s activities. If at all possible, take your children to their activities when it is “your time.” On the other hand, be respectful of the other parent’s time with the children. It’s difficult to look supportive of the other parent’s relationship if you always schedule well-visits during the other parent’s time.
7. Use good judgment before introducing your children to someone you are dating. Introducing your children to someone that you have just met or are just beginning to know can be confusing and even detrimental to your children.
8. Take the high road when possible. This may sound contrary to the advice you might expect
from a divorce attorney. However, when it comes to things like schedule changes, sometimes it is better to give a little even if the favor isn’t always returned. In the event the matter goes to court, it is always better to be perceived as the parent who is flexible and cooperative.
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, with offices in Wilmington, North carolina, the family law firm of Gailor, Wallis & Hunt has a combined 80 years of experience in all aspects of divorce and cvustody litigation. For more information visit their website at www. gailorwallishunt.com.
1101 Haynes Street, Suite 201
Raleigh, NC, 27604
Tel: (919) 832-8488
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