Even if you don't have children, divorce is difficult to navigate. Toss children into the mix and you have a bigger problem. The court draws certain lines as far as children are concerned, and you might be surprised to find that the court could be looking down on some of your actions.
Could you be sabotaging your custody case based on your interactions with the children? If you are doing any of the following, you might be.
1. You are using your child as a pawn in the divorce.
Using a child as a pawn is frowned upon in court, and could even be considered child abuse in some cases. Don't put undue stress on your children, forcing them into the awkward position of choosing which parent they spend time with and telling them how to feel about the other parent.
Have you attempted to use your child as leverage in an attempt to persuade your ex to pay more child support?
3. You act different toward your child following the split.
Unfortunately, some parents do take out their frustration on the children, often acting out in anger. Divorce is a vulnerable time for children, often resulting in stronger dependence on their parents. This is a time when you are needed to provide support, not anger.
4. You rely on your child for support.
There are some things a child should never have to hear, and the details of a divorce are among them. Forcing your children to listen to your frustrations can cause anxiety and intense stress. Additionally, your children will remember that you spoke ill of their other parent, and it may cause additional problems in your relationship. If you find yourself saying something to your child that doesn't feel right, consider speaking to a therapist instead.
5. It is difficult to be with your ex in any capacity.
Are drop-offs with the kids getting more difficult? Make sure to avoid heated discussions that could lead to fights -- especially ones that your child will witness. Try finding a mutual third-party you can trust with drop-offs if possible.
Ultimately, hiring a family and divorce attorney is the best way to protect your parental rights in court. If you are not sure how to proceed with your case, speaking with a lawyer can help you determine the best course of action. You will also receive counsel about the best steps to take with your child.