If you have children and you are beginning the divorce process, you may be concerned about the effect of your divorce on your children. There are things that you can do to protect your children through your divorce.
Choose a non-adversarial divorce method
Choosing a non-adversarial divorce method, like divorce mediation or collaborative divorce, will go a long way to reducing the level of conflict between you and your spouse. Divorce mediators and collaborative divorce lawyers can help you manage your divorce with a minimum of acrimony. That in turn will reduce the negative consequences of your divorce on your children.
Create a well thought out parenting plan as part of your divorce process
A comprehensive parenting plan enables you to minimize post-divorce conflict by having clear rules about your parenting schedule. It also provides predictability for your children and enables them to more easily relax into their new living situation.
Avoid having children decide the parenting schedule
I am often asked by parents to write a very open-ended and flexible parenting plan. While you should always be flexible about your parenting schedule to accommodate the needs of your children, I discourage a parenting plan that is too loose, or gives children too much choice. While the wishes of older children should be respected, asking children to decide when they will be with each parent gives them too much responsibility and is burdensome.
Take care of yourself
Your children know you very well. They know if you are struggling. If you are, see a competent mental health professional. You will help your children as well as yourself.