Divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience for the two spouses involved. This can be magnified if you have children.
Parents usually try to shield their children from any adverse affects of a divorce. Sometimes the interests of children are drowned out by spousal conflicts, legal proceedings, settlement negotiations and court hearings.
If you are contemplating a divorce or are in the process of a divorce, you may be asking “What rights do children have when going through a divorce?”
EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH BOTH PARENTS.
Even though your marriage has ended your children will continue to need both parents. Although one parent will have custody, no child should have to choose between their parents.
Don’t make your child feel guilty for spending time with your ex-spouse and their family members. Don’t complain to your children about your former spouse and avoid disparaging the other parent in front of them.
EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR LIVES BY BOTH PARENTS.
Children need guidance as they grow up and navigate social circles, school, jobs and hobbies.
Sometimes children will want to discuss something with one parent instead of the other. Sometimes they will need advice from each parent. Avoid making your child feel bad for reaching out or involving your ex-spouse.
There will also be times when your ex-spouse can’t make it to a school event or other outing. This is not an opportunity to criticize them in front of your child.
If you are the noncustodial parent, try your best to remain meaningfully engaged in your child’s life.
EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO BE A NEUTRAL PARTY LIVING IN A CONFLICT FREE ENVIRONMENT.
Sometimes divorced parents use their children to deliver messages to their former spouse or ask a child to spy on the other parent and report back on their activities.
Some parents put their children in the middle of their disputes by arguing in front of them or not making the child available to the other parent.
These tactics can cause resentment, distrust and fear in children and damage their relationship with both parents.
If it is difficult to talk face to face with your former spouse, try another method of communication. Whatever you do, keep your children out of it.
EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM BOTH PARENTS.
No matter who has custody, both parents have a responsibility to provide financial support for their children.
If you are the person paying child support or alimony, you may feel resentful about this towards your former spouse.
Keep in mind that child support provisions are established by the legislature, determined by the court and enforced by the state.
Equally important is remembering that the money is going toward the care and needs of your children.
The divorce attorneys at Oxendine & Sauls understand the challenges of the divorce process. We’re here to assist you with your divorce and child custody issues.