In a divorce, the only thing that parents should really focus on is the welfare of their children. Take it from someone who comes from a broken family... this is what divorced parents should be doing. Brought to you by GJC Law.
You may be in the middle of a divorce. That means you go from being married to single, from legally wed to legally not. But at no point of this do you stop being mother and father to your kids.
It is easy to lose sight of this, especially if the divorce is not an amicable one. Many people remain adamant in getting the “most” out of everything and “winning”. Sometimes, this is done at the expense of their own children. But take it from a kid who comes from a broken home, who has grown up enough to know… I don’t blame my parents for divorcing and I am grateful it was done in a peaceful manner.
You would want your kids to feel the same way too.
If a marriage has broken down, typically a lot of bitterness and anger that arises between spouses may spill over into their roles as parents. Two parties who can no longer co-operate and co-exist may struggle with the reality that they must continue to co-parent even after a divorce.
Children are caught in the middle and may become pawns in the struggle between feuding spouses, forced to choose a side in the separation or encouraged to turn against one or both parents.
When two parties are caught up in their own emotional turmoil, they may not realise the toil the divorce process takes on the children and the amount of psychological and emotional stress they may suffer from the friction between their parents. Let me just tell you that this stress carries on to adulthood and may even affect your kid’s marriage in the future.
To prevent that, consider taking these tips by the Family Justice Court (FJC) to heart.
The FJC views the children as the innocent victims of divorce and recognizes the problems and risks that arise when feuding parents drag their children their dispute. The FJC has time and again, emphasised that the most important consideration in any divorce is the welfare of the children.
Parents who are caught up in the emotional turmoil and anger of their divorce may forget to prioritize the welfare of their children. Below are 4 practical tips for prioritizing the welfare of your children during a divorce.
1. Remember that children need both parents
Children benefit from having two parents who are actively involved in their lives. The law on custody, care and control of children in a divorce is grounded on the principle of joint parental responsibility.
The FJC takes the view that the interests of the children are best served by letting them enjoy the love, care and support of both parents. Children may fear that they will lose one of their parents in the divorce or will be forced to choose between them. Children should be reassured that both parents will continue to have an active in their lives and will be protecting their interests.
To preserve the role of both parents in the children’s lives, the FJC will almost always award a joint custody order in a divorce. A joint custody order preserves the legal right of both parents to jointly make important decisions in the children’s lives such as decisions about their education and medical needs.
A joint custody order signals the parents that the FJC expects them to co-operate to promote the child’s best interest and also reassures the children that both parents will continue to be involved in their lives.
Of course, this is done if both parents are agreeable to it and as parents, you should do whatever you can to provide what is best for your kids, even in the event of a divorce.
More practical tips on the next page…