Seeing parents divorce is arguably one of the most painful experiences that some children have to go through. Despite the hardship, there are details about the split that soon-to-be ex-partners will have to discuss during the divorce proceedings. Many of these details will involve the children. Who will pay for their school? Where are they going to live? These are just some of the questions that need to be settled.
In the state of Ohio, the legal age of maturity is not set. This means that children’s preferences can be honored if the court finds that the child is mature enough to make sound decisions. This can be beneficial, as the child’s wants are taken into account. However, it can also be a negative experience, as they will have to be actively involved in a contentious and very emotional conversation. Fortunately, a good divorce lawyer can work to ensure that the child’s interest and well-being are protected throughout the process.
Once the dust is settled, the responsibility of protecting the child will solely rest with the ex-partners. The best way to protect their child is by not letting them play the roles that we describe in this article.
Once the divorce is finalized, the ex-partners become co-parents. One has custody, and the other has visitation rights. To make this setup work, the co-parents will still have to communicate well. Given their past, it might be difficult to look at each other in the eye, at least initially. Yet even with this challenge, the co-parents should be careful to not let their kids play the role of messengers who relay words from one partner to another. Aside from the fact that they can easily lead to miscommunication, this creates an unnecessary burden on the child.
Instead, the co-parents must try to find ways to directly communicate with each other. They may start viewing each interaction as a business transaction just to shake off the awkwardness. If face-to-face talks are still challenging, they can resort to text messaging or emailing.
A divorce might have been triggered by a painful event such as an extramarital affair or another form of betrayal. Both co-parents, especially the aggrieved one, will understandably be in need of comfort and people who they can share their burdens with. They must remember that unloading such complicated and painful feelings to their kids is not a good idea.
The kids are also processing their own pain. Seeing their parents separate is not an easy thing to digest. If one or both parents use the kids as their personal confidante, they are just adding more complications to an already complex experience.
Divorces may end the relationship, but they don’t always end the source of conflict. There is a big chance that the co-parents will clash when they find themselves in the same room. Obviously, this is not good for them, but it can be a disaster for children, especially if they are caught in between and are forced to act as referees. Parents should be mature enough to keep their conversations, especially the most heated ones, private. It’s their problem, and they should be the ones to solve it.
When couples divorce, children shouldn’t be playing a role in the split. The ex-couple’s roles as parents continue, and it’s the parents’ duty to protect and guide their children. Given this, the kids must be spared from all the bitterness that the divorce proceedings and aftermath might bring.