Jeff Biddle 2013-08-01 05:46:41
Divorce is the end of the relationship between a husband and wife. Oft en, though, there are children involved and the relationship between mother and father must continue. Keeping an amicable relationship as parents is one of the most challenging things to accomplish when circumstances have caused the two individuals divorcing to be less than friendly. At the beginning of a divorce, both parents and the children are oft en overloaded with fear about the future and the unknown. There are the changes in physical residence, setting up a new life separately, figuring out a new parenting plan and the financial toll of living separately. When the parents are fighting, there is the additional stress of the legal battle, too. Dealing with all of those changes is oft en overwhelming and stressful and leads to a breakdown in any communication with the other parent. When communicating as a parent with the other parent, it is important to put the children first and set your personal differences aside. Here are some tips on accomplishing that. Emotional Baggage Parents need to work on their own emotional baggage throughout the divorce. They need to work on staying emotionally stable so that the children see that they’re going to take care of us, we’re going to be safe. Sometimes this means talking to a counselor or other professional to sort things out or even get prescription medication if a doctor deems it necessary. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help and getting it. Divorce is one of the largest stressors that individuals can go through in life. It’s up there with a death of someone close, relocating and losing a job. One of the parents is forced to relocate as a result of the divorce, too, and is, in essence, losing the job of spouse so it is easy to see why divorce is so stressful. At the very least, each parent should take some time to focus on himself or herself. It’s probably not the right time to start up a new relationship, though, because it is such a difficult time in your life. It’s better to get your feet under you before you start something new. Be Aware of What You Say Try not to bad mouth the other parent in front of your children. Many parents say “I would never talk negatively about the other parent to the kids” and then they bash the other parent to a friend while the kids are listening. You are divorcing so it is reasonable to consider that each parent is not showing their positive traits to the other parent at all times (or any in some cases). If you force yourself to think back over the course of the marriage, though, it’s not hard to see that the other parent had some good characteristics and sometimes those positives were your weaknesses. She may be strict and involved in church activities which gives the children a sense of right and wrong and a love for God while you are more permissive and happy-go-lucky. These are definitely opposites but both perspectives provide the children with positive life skills. You don’t have to try to force your permissiveness on her and she can’t force you to be a dictator. Take Time Before Responding Sometimes the other parent might seem to be baiting you into a fight, which is why I’m not a huge fan of communicating by email or text message. When one parent gets violent, that may be your only option though. My advice is to attempt to read the email or text without any preconceived emotion or negativity. “When are you picking up the kids on Tuesday?” can too easily be read with an extremely negative undertone or hidden message when none was intended. You should not read that as “You’re never on time. Are you going to be here at seven like you’re supposed to be or do I have to feed the kids so you can show up at nine like always?” The other parent obviously has a reason for asking the question but it might not be the reason you are thinking of. They might be trying to plan something and want to know if you can take the kids earlier or keep the kids later or perhaps they just forgot. That non-combative tone that could have been conveyed in person through inflection and tone is completely gone when you are just reduced to words on a screen. If it isn’t imperative for you to respond immediately, perhaps just type a response and re-read it in a while before you send it. Try to turn the parenting relationship into a business relationship, where you find a way to be in contact with each other about the children without emotion. Buy a calendar or subscribe to an online calendar to keep abreast of important dates and events concerning the children. If you are able to talk face to face but feel that the conversation is taking a turn for the worse, end the conversation before it gets too bad and make an appointment to start the dialogue again later. Remember, the other person is not your spouse, they are not your boss or employee, they are just the other parent. Don’t give them control over your emotions. Jeff Biddle owns Biddle Law Firm, PLLC, a boutique firm that focuses on family law and consumer bankruptcy cases. Biddle received his B.S. in economics from the University of Utah in 1997 and a J.D. in 2005 from Emory University. He worked as a family law attorney before starting his own fi rm in 2007. As a child of divorce and a divorced father of four, Biddle helps families through the diffi cult process of divorce, working with parents in a broken family to discover solutions to the family problems without resorting to litigation if possible. www.TheBiddleLawFirm.com T: (480) 840-3138
Published by Target Market Media . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digitaleditions.walsworthprintgroup.com/article/FAMILY+LAW/1469661/169514/article.html.