E. Spencer Walton

When parents choose to file for divorce, far too many fail to realize the immediate and permanent damage that it does to their children, regardless of their age. As soon as any child is made aware that his or her parents are going through a divorce, the psychological and emotional damage has begun. 

If you are a parent and are anticipating divorce, the single most important aspect has nothing to do with your personal issues relating to finances but falls squarely on your shoulders as to the immediate harm it may cause your children. 

The courtroom is a place that most often further destroys children due to the parents’ animosity displayed toward each other and forcing a Judge to decide critical issues that impact your family.  It is no place for your children to attend, regardless of their age. If your children are in their 20s or 30s, it can shatter their ideals about the importance of being good parents and raising children together as Mother and Father. 

The best way to help your children during the time of divorce is, where feasible, to work with the other parent to reach amicable solutions to solve the issues. The most effective way to make this agreement is by utilizing an experienced neutral, such as a mediator, who can meet with each parent and their counsel to formulate a parenting plan that best fits each family member, taking into consideration respective schedules. With this method, both parents, with the guidance of the mediator, will make decisions that should be in the best interests of their children. 

Likewise, parents should not get “hung up” on labels such as “custody, joint custody, or shared custody.” Rather, you should focus on the availability of each parent to have meaningful time with their children based upon the factors associated with each case. 

There are no winners or losers when it comes to matters affecting the interests of your children, except the children. Your children are innocent pawns in a dispute between parents. Unless divorcing parents and their counsel take on the responsibility to act in the best interests of the children at all times, the children will be permanently damaged for life, as will their relationship with both parents. 

Please seek out mediation as soon as absolutely possible should divorce be imminent, or as soon as the petition for dissolution is filed. If you do not, you may regret it for life. 

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.