How Do High-Conflict Divorces Affect Kids?
Posted on April 11, 2012 by Dishon & Block
Tensions often dramatically increase when going through an extremely disagreeable divorce. Called high-conflict divorce in the legal community, these hotly contested breakups can cause children much emotional rage, resentment and pain. However, there are a number of ways to end the family uproar and come to a more peaceful resolution.
No doubt, children pay a huge price for parental conflict, but what steps can be taken to minimize the hurt and pain during a highly-disputed divorce? After firstly hiring a qualified divorce attorney to give you first step solutions into the legal and financial challenges, here’s some more advice for those undertaking this traumatic life journey:
Stop blaming your ex for all your marital problems. No one likes to admit mistakes or missteps, but all of us have made thousands of decisions along the way that have brought us to this moment. Taking 100 percent responsibility for yours may show your children that you are accountable and in charge of your life.
Who’s in charge anyways? Perhaps you think you’re a better parent than your ex. If so, this belief may lead you into an even greater conflict. Exerting control over every facet of your ex’s life only brings more trouble because, truth is, no one can completely control another human being. This tug-of-war may lifestyle places your children in the difficult position of taking sides between two people they love.
Never seek revenge! After being humiliated and perhaps having feelings worthlessness and abandonment, you may have an insatiable appetite for revenge. But if you’re using your children as a weapon to make your ex pay, it will only escalate the conflict (often marked by frequent court actions). Is revenge worth the painful price your children may suffer under the false illusion that retribution will solve your wounded feelings?
Stay out of your ex’s personal life. During and after a divorce, you are not responsible for your ex’s personal life. Stick to your parenting business and let your ex figure out his or her own life. You may always have communication with the other parent, but don’t meddle or give unwanted advice. It only causes more controversy, which makes life more chaotic for your children.
Rules, rules and more rules! Often, there is a constant war over who sets the rules in the game of parenting. For example, the ex allows the child to watch a certain program or to stay up past bedtime. This may enrage the parent who tries to set all the rules, but it only makes for a marked increase in discord. This is why a parenting plan is in order!
Finally, a solution! To stop igniting the fuse with your ex by developing an effective parenting plan. This plan helps you to pin down your children’s needs such as scheduling special holidays, vacations, birthdays or events with your ex, but there are other factors to consider.
What about transportation to and from school events and visitations or who takes the children to the doctor or dentist? When your child is ill, whose job is it to take care of the sick child?
Then, there’s money. Usually a hotly disputed issue, the parenting plan may help solve financial concerns such as who pays for that ballerina tutu or a trip toDisneyland?
Sit down with your ex or if that’s unattainable, talk to an attorney about writing out a basic parenting plan. Go over the plan with your ex, then, stick to it, but be willing to change the plan as your children grow. When you have a parenting plan, there’s less stress on both parents. Just remember, each plan should be geared toward the individuals in your family, which should also include a system for sharing information.
Again, the first thing to do when going through a divorce is to hire a qualified divorce lawyer. An attorney can give you the information you need to start the divorce process, including the best way to deal with your ex, your kids, your finances and how to protect your assests, child support and parenting arrangements.
Although this can be one of the most difficult times in your life, hiring an attorney for a high-conflict divorce can be the best thing you ever did for yourself.
For more information, visit Divorce and Children
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