When parents divorce, children can experience enormous changes and complicated emotions. Mothers and fathers are in the crucial position of helping children navigate these challenges. And the things parents do or do not do can have a dramatic impact on a child’s growth and recovery following parental separation.
Thus, parents would be wise to avoid the following mistakes.
Common custody mistakes to avoid
One mistake parents should not make is failing to prioritize the best interests of the child. Too often, parents make decisions based on what benefits them, rather than their child. Refusing to consider sharing custody with a loving, capable parent because you hate him or her can be one example.
Another mistake is violating a custody order, regardless of whether it is a temporary or permanent order. Common ways parents violate a custody order include failing to return a child on time, taking a child out of the state without permission, or refusing to respect boundaries established in the order.
It can also be unwise to put a child in the middle of adult conflicts. Fighting in front of them, forcing them to make decisions they shouldn’t have to make, and badmouthing each other to the child can all be painful and harmful. Thus, parents should make every effort to avoid these situations.
Closing or restricting lines of communication with a child can be another misstep. Because of all the ways divorce affects a child, it is crucial to talk to your kids; let them know they can share whatever they feel with you. Parents should also allow a child to speak with their other parent when they need to.
What if I make a mistake?
No parent is perfect, and there will be times when you or the other parent makes a mistake regarding child custody. In these situations, addressing the problem immediately and peacefully can be best.
If a mistake is egregious and threatens the child’s wellbeing, parents may need to take legal action to seek custody modification or enforcement.
Parents who focus on their child’s welfare, comply with court orders and seek peaceful resolutions can make it easier for everyone to get through this situation.