How To Avoid The Mistakes Most Divorced Parents Make

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

child custody mediation Orange County; California Divorce MediationWhen parents get divorced, they sometimes forget that they’re divorcing a spouse, and that their child is not divorcing a parent.

Unless there’re serious circumstances that make your ex-spouse an unfit parent as deemed by the state, you and your former spouse are sharing a child, and you have to be careful with that relationship.

Here’re a couple of  mistakes that most divorced parents make when handling co-parenting—and these are mistakes you don’t want to make.

1) Parents interrogate their kids about the time spent with the other parent.

Now, it is understandable that parents want to make sure that their kids are okay, and part of that is finding out how their time with their other parent went.

However, asking hundreds of questions about time spent with the other parent can make your child feel like she or he is somehow at fault, and needs to protect the other parent. It makes kids feel insecure, and that is the last thing they need to feel in the aftermath of the divorce.

If you want to find out what your child did with your former spouse, then ask your former spouse. If that doesn’t work, ask your child gently about how their day went, but nothing more. Listen keenly for any information that is given freely. However, don’t give your child the third degree.

2) Parents use their children to communicate with each other.

For some strange reason, some parents communicate with each other through their kids. This is a horrible thing to do because it places the onus of their communication, and consequently their relationship, on the child.  If you find yourself giving your child messages for your former spouse, stop. Even if it is unpleasant to speak with your former spouse, do it, and don’t involve your child.

3) Parents talk to their kids about their relationship with their spouse.

If you need to take through your feelings about your relationship with your former spouse, never do it with your children.  Confide in a friend, a therapist, or even a complete stranger, but never your kid.  Talking to your child about this will put them square in the middle of the relationship between you and your spouse.

Remember, the most important thing about having kids is ensuring that they have a good childhood. Don’t ruin that because you made a mistake in terms of dealing with your former spouse after your divorce.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation