If you are going through a divorce in Maryland and you have young children, it is important to try to avoid conflict with your estranged spouse. This is not just for your own peace of mind and well-being but because it can make the divorce more difficult for your children. However, this can be easier said than done. Even the most well-meaning of parents who are concerned about the best interests of their children can fall into harmful patterns if they are not careful.
Children caught in the middle
Children are perceptive and can pick up on your emotions, so if you think that you are just casually asking questions in an effort to keep tab on the other parent, your children can start to feel caught between the two of you. This can also be the case if you are asking them to take messages to the other parent, even if they are innocuous ones. When you are creating a parenting plan, you can agree on a method you will use to communicate with each other. There are tools especially designed for this if you want to make sure you have a record of those communications.
Another big error parents can make is saying negative things about the other parent in the presence of the children. This can be especially difficult if a parent has not turned up for a special event or kept to a child custody agreement and the child is upset as a result, but parents should do their best to remain neutral.
Even when there is a great deal of conflict and animosity in a divorce, parents should make an effort to set that aside when it comes to their children. Focusing on their best interests can help parents craft an effective co-parenting plan that will help parents and children during and after the divorce.