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7 Guidelines for Divorcing Parents

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 12-Mar-2013

As you are working through your parenting plan and finalizing the details on your Pennsylvania uncontested divorce, you may want to incorporate some parental guidelines. Conflict between parents can be confusing for children. With a set of parenting guidelines for you and your co-parent follow, you can help protect your child from potential parental conflicts.

One of the most important factors is to stay focused on your child. As a parent, you both need to make decisions which are in the best interest of your child. Don't put your child in between you and your spouse. Negative talk about your soon to be ex spouse creates an atmosphere of insecurity for your child. Do not vent in the presence of your child. Find another place to vent about your co-parent.

Your child's role in your family is to be a child with a happy childhood. This does not mean that suddenly your child will be a messenger between you and your co-parent. Set up a method of communicating effectively with your spouse. Don't make it your child's responsibility to convey messages or spy on your spouse.

Encourage and respect your child's relationship with your co-parent. Your child loves both of his or her parents. Don't try to make your child pick sides between and your spouse. This may increase resentment or guilt from you child.

Focus on the positive aspects of your marriage and relationship with your co-parent. Share some of your happier moments during your marriage with your child. Reassure your child that he or she is loved by both parents and was born into a loving union.

Create consistent rules of behavior for you and your co-parent's households. This will help reduce confusion about what is acceptable behavior. Also, it will help you to know what constitutes acceptable behavior at a co-parent's house.

Allow space for your child to express his or her feelings. Just as you are experiencing a variety of emotions, so is your child. Remember that you are the parents. You and your co-parent must still make the best decisions for your child.

Do not confront your co-parent in front of your child. Do not confront or argue with your ex spouse on the phone when your child is in hearing range. Witnessing confrontation undermines the stability which is critical to your child's well-being.

These guidelines are truly effective when both parents abide by them. Take time to discuss parental guidelines with your spouse. Please feel free to share these suggestions with your spouse so you both can have a more positive co-parenting experience.