Balancing support and protection for your children

Going through a divorce is difficult for every member of the family. The conflict between you and your spouse often makes you nervous about the impact they could have on your children.

Sometimes, a conflict between you and your spouse does not necessarily mean a dispute with your children. However, there are times when your children could experience some of the same challenges you are experiencing with your spouse.

Balancing allowing your children to have a relationship with a problematic spouse can be challenging. Here’s what you should know about balancing support for your children while offering protection if their relationship with your ex changes.

Opportunity for a relationship

If your ex and your children have a positive relationship with each other, it is important to give your kids the chance to continue to develop their relationship. It is essential to keep conversations with your children age-appropriate and generally positive during this time.

Your children know that divorce means that there are differences between you and your ex that could not be resolved. Unless your challenges with your ex threaten your children, they do not need to know the details of the conflict between you and your ex.

Sometimes you need to step in

As a parent, you know that children can be particularly vulnerable, especially when someone they love and trust is not truthful. There are times when a relationship between a parent and child becomes stressful for the child, and you need to intervene.

Maintaining open conversations

Having regular conversations with them is part of balancing the type of support or protection your children need. You should check in regularly about their thoughts about the child custody arrangements and their time with their other parent.

These conversations should start as casual chats about what they did and how they feel. While you are talking, you can watch for signals that your children are uncomfortable with their other parent or that there is something the other parent told them not to share.

You are an advocate for your children. If you start to notice situations where your children are uncomfortable, it may be time to renegotiate your child custody agreement. You should talk to an experienced professional about what you need to do to make changes to the agreement.