Some divorces are contentious, with two spouses battling in constant and continuing court hearings. Children are placed in the middle of their warring parents. Anything resembling respect and dignity is tossed aside to wage war.
Divorce is a transitional time where everyone impacted by the marital dissolution is not at their best, but the process does not have to be contentious. Universally, two spouses working together and focusing on the best interests of their children is the best path to a new chapter in life.
Proactive strategies with both spouses on the same side can lead to a more peaceful process.
After you have thought through a potential divorce, make sure that decision is made with clarity. A spouse who refuses to change or attend therapy sessions has made their decision with that simple lack of effort in repairing a damaged union.
No need to rush
While you may want to get the process moving quickly, rushing into it may not be the best path. Life is effectively in crisis for all involved. Spending time with family and friends can help with getting through a challenging time, but try to avoid stories of divorce woe.
Equally important, don’t listen to those who suggest a more combative approach. Process your emotions before entering the divorce process.
Spare children from the conflict
Children are both innocent bystanders and the true casualties of divorce. They did not have a say in the life-changing event that is now happening to their family. Spouses who agree that the children’s best interests come first and avoid petty disputes can ensure that their kids can recover from this traumatic time in their lives.
Sadly, some parents use their kids as pawns in a contentious chess game. Children are placed in the middle, sometimes pressured or forced to serve as spies, messengers, or confidants. Emotional blackmail will do far more harm than good and have lasting effects. Trash talking the other spouse, especially to the children, will only make the hostile soon-to-be-ex look worse. However, the damage done to children can be significant.
Spouses who worked together for years, if not decades, should evolve their partnership to minimize the impact divorce has on children. Cooperation can make the post-divorce life easier for all involved, even if it is not perfect.