7 Common Mistakes Parents Should Avoid When It Comes to Divorce

Common Mistakes Parents Should Avoid When It Comes to Divorce

Challenging as it is, parenting is never easy. Even when both parents are happy and working together to raise the children, it still throws everyday problems. It becomes much more challenging when you find it impossible to even be in the same room as the other parent, let alone communicate or make crucial parenting decisions together.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the most typical mistakes that parents make when it comes to divorce, along with an alternative you should try instead. Of course, every child and every family is unique. While something can work for one family, it may not work for another.

Although this is simply a generalization, consider if you are guilty of any of these seven parenting mistakes, and rather than beating yourself up over it, be proud of yourself for seeing the problem and working to change.

Making Child the Messenger

Many parents have good intentions when they communicate with the other parent of their child, and they usually do a fantastic job of it via email, text, or face-to-face meetings. However, parents often unintentionally put their children in the middle and make them messengers, even in cases when communication is consistent and open.

“Remind your dad that you’ve had more than enough sugar today,” or “Tell your mom I won’t be picking you up for dinner this Thursday,” are all common phrases parents use. These phrases, which do not seem so bad at the moment, put too much responsibility on the child and, if not expressed right, can make them even more upset.

Rather than making the child a messenger, parents should use all available means of communication to share messages, even minor ones.

Getting Your Child to Spy on Your Ex-Spouse

Knowing how your children spent time when they visited their other parent is quite a normal question to ask them if you and your spouse have begun living apart and your children spend time with that parent. However, do not ask about your spouse’s personal and professional lives, as well as their daily routines. Ask just about the things your children did and how they enjoyed themselves while they were there.

When going through a divorce, many people are exhausted physically and emotionally. This is why, for example, you should talk to a lawyer who will handle divorce court cases in Salt Lake City or a close family member. They will help you think clearly when you’re not able to do so, so you don’t make your child your personal detective.

Not Telling Children About the Divorce Together

When children find out their parents are getting a divorce, they need to understand that no matter what happens, their parents will always love and care for them. Sharing the news of the divorce with the children as a family is a good first step in becoming co-parents.

If one parent tells a kid this information when the other isn’t there, the child will develop a strong sense of loyalty to one parent and feel pressured to choose them.

Arguing and Fighting

It could be difficult for parents going through a divorce to communicate peacefully, but you should avoid becoming angry or arguing in front of the children. The tension that children feel when they overhear their parents arguing is not necessary.

No matter how well-intentioned you are, it is never a good idea to publicly criticize your spouse in front of your children. Your children can also easily read your texts, overhear your phone calls with friends, and catch the sarcasm in your tone if you bring about your ex-spouse in a bad light.

For children, it is traumatic and distressing to hear their parents badmouth each other. They might feel that you’re trying to persuade them to share your viewpoint, and that is not fair to them.

Not Being Actively Involved In the Child’s Life

Being actively involved in your child’s life is crucial, especially if you think about independently exercising parental rights. If a parent does not have a strong connection to their child and isn’t involved in their lives, they have little chance of the court deciding to entrust them with parental rights or determining a broad visitation model.

Parents are often unaware of basic details about their child, such as the name of their child’s school, the name of their chosen doctor, the child’s favorite toy, the date of a recent parent-teacher meeting, etc. Another common thing is parents seeing a lawyer to start the process of exercising their parental rights after not even seeing their child for many years.

Do not forget that to have any chance of successfully exercising parental rights, the parent must be actively involved in the child’s life from the moment the child is born. This is a huge mistake many parents make, especially when it comes to divorce.

Divorcing Your In-Laws

Many people would rather not interact with their ex following a divorce. Even your ex’s family can be someone you’d rather not interact with in some situations. However, this is not the best idea if you two have children. Keep in mind that these people are relatives of both your ex and your children.

Assisting children in keeping in touch with their relatives is an obligation of all parents, whether they are non-custodial or custodial parents. It’s not a good idea to distance your children or other family members from your ex and cut ties with their family.

Refrain from criticizing or blaming your ex or their family in conversation, and even more, choose a divorce procedure that does not encourage angry confrontations.

Not Giving Enough Information to Children

Parents should initiate conversations to help their children cope with the divorce. If a divorce is going to change their life in any way, they should know that. Will they move and change schools? How often will they see each parent? Will they see one parent less frequently?

It is helpful for children to know that their parents are trying to discover the answers to these questions and will let them know when they do, even if the parents do not know all of the answers. This gives the impression to the little one that the parents are still in charge of the train.

Whenever parents go through a divorce, the children are usually the most hurt. After reading this article, we hope you’ll avoid making the same mistakes and make divorce a bit easier for your little ones.


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