If your parents divorced when you were growing up, you probably do not want your own children to go through such a painful experience. If you and your spouse have decided that your marriage is beyond repair and divorce is the only solution, it is still possible to reduce the amount of stress your children have to endure as a result of your divorce. Divorce and children do not always mix well. The divorce process itself is more complicated if you have children; you might need a lawyer, even if your case does not go to trial. If you and your spouse have amicably reached an agreement about the terms of your divorce and co-parenting, you can have a non-attorney legal document assistant handle your divorce paperwork, instead of a lawyer.
Tips for Minimizing the Stress of Your Divorce for Your Children
It is stressful for everyone when a family breaks up. These are some things you can do to keep from putting your children in the middle and to shield them from the ugliest aspects of your divorce:
- Do not say negative things about your partner in the presence of your children. If necessary, schedule a time when your children are not in the room with you to talk to a family member, friend, or therapist about your feelings about the divorce.
- If you have started a new relationship, let some time pass between the time you divorce and when you introduce your children to a new soon-to-be-stepparent and his or her family.
- When your children talk about their time at their other parent’s house, listen with interest, like you do when your children talk about school or extracurricular activities. Do not ask prying questions, especially about money.
- If you and your ex are on bad terms, communicate through a divorce app that keeps a record of your conversations. Some of these apps even give you a warning if your tone is excessively hostile or sarcastic, so you can edit your message before you send it.
- If you have to go trial about your custody agreement, ask the court to appoint a Minor’s Counsel for your children. A Minor’s Counsel is a guardian ad litem whose role in the case is to represent the children’s interests. The Minor’s Counsel talks to you, your ex, and your children individually, as well as other people in your children’s lives, such as teachers or therapists. Then he or she writes a report for the court, containing recommendations about what is best for the children.
- If your children are in their teens, give them a chance to tell the court their preferences about custody. Do not push them to do this if they do not want to.
Let a Legal Document Assistant Prepare Your Documents, So You Can Concentrate on Your Family
You do not need a lawyer to file a divorce petition or request to modify a parenting plan or child support agreement. When you are juggling divorce and children, contact A People’s Choice and have a registered legal document assistant prepare your family law documents.
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