If you are the parent of a minor child and are going through a divorce, you have to consider not only your own well-being, but also that of your child. This makes facing your divorce especially challenging on both a logistical and an emotional level.

While there is a lot of advice for parents going through a divorce about what they should do, there are also some things you should make an effort to avoid. By taking steps to not engage in certain acts that could negatively affect your children, you can be more proactive in your divorce to ensure your children do not suffer needlessly.

Mistakes to avoid regarding your ex

One of the biggest mistakes some couples make when they go through a divorce is involving their children too heavily in the particulars of the process. An example of this is when you speak in bad terms about your ex-spouse. Keep in mind that no matter how angry you are with your ex, your former spouse is still your child’s parent.

This is extremely important if your children are too young to understand the psychological impact of the divorce. However, even in older children such as teenagers, it is not helpful to involve them in the personal details of your divorce. Oftentimes, children think the divorce is their fault, and if you involve them too closely or if you speak badly about your ex, this feeling may intensify and cause your children emotional difficulties you could have prevented otherwise.

Mistakes to avoid regarding your living situation

Divorce can have a significant impact on your living situation and financial circumstances. You should avoid putting the burden of these changes on your children. It is not up to them to decide the child custody or visitation arrangements, and you should avoid involving your children in the pressure of having to choose between their parents. 

Some counties, such as Ventura County, require that couples go through child custody mediation. This helps parents come to shared solutions without having to involve the court. However, if the parents are unsuccessful in their mediation, the court will ultimately decide on child custody arrangements.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you go through your divorce. Simply make your best effort to keep your children’s best interests at the forefront. While you may not always be able to completely keep your kids out of critical divorce conflict, if you work to avoid involving them as much as possible, you can help ensure they come through the divorce with as little trauma as possible.