Divorce is a parental decision when an adult relationship no longer seems viable to at least one of the parents. Children have no say about the division of their family. However, they are entitled to certain rights during their upbringing which will reduce some of the stress of their family coming apart. Mindful parents will want to observe the following:
- Children have the right to love both parents.
- Parents will work to share time and activities with their children.
- When both parents are present, they will be cordial.
- Children are able to have pictures of the other parent in their room.
- Children are not to be used as messengers or ‘spies’ between parents.
- Parents will allow private phone calls with the other parent and not ask questions about their conversation.
- Adult business [legal, business or financial dealings] will be private.
- When transferring children, parents will keep it brief and peaceful.
- Parents will not judge or criticize the other parent’s doings or choices.
- When possible, parents will acknowledge good things about the other parent.
- Parents will be flexible, when possible, to accommodate social or extended family gatherings for the children.
- Parents will never drive the children if they have been drinking.
- Neither parent will speak negatively of the other parent’s family to the children.
- Neither parent will rewrite family history.
- Both parents will feel free to share stories better family times with the children.
- Children will be allowed to freely take their clothes and possessions [unless they are too large or cumbersome] to both homes.
- Parents will discipline on their parenting time only.
Respecting the above rights for your children will ensure their well-being from now and in the future.