Divorce and co-parenting children amicably after a split or separation is rarely easy. Making joint-custody or other parenting arrangements work is important because it means giving your children stability, security, and continuous close relationships with parents. It can be tough to make this work when the split or separation is not amicable.

There are some common mistakes when it comes to parenting that divorced or separated parents should be aware of. Even if they may seem obvious, sometimes it can be difficult to change behaviours without making a concerted effort. Here are six common errors that divorced parents make when it comes to their children.

Making the child a messenger

Don’t let your child be the middleman for messages meant for your ex. Many parents occasionally exchange a few words at the door during pick-up or drop-off exchanges with the children. Communication is usually done by phone, email, or through children. When parents aren’t on good speaking terms, they will often send messages with the child. This is never a good position for the child to be in. Seek out ways to communicate better with your former partner.

Not acting like an adult

Getting into wars over the phone, instant messaging, or email is for teenagers, but former spouses can also engage in these unnecessary battles. Children often see this happening and when it does occur, parents are showing their children that this behaviour is okay. Children don’t need to grow up with more drama or social media bullying than they have to. Try and diffuse any conversations that appear like they may turn into a full-blown fight or just walk away if you have to. Discuss contentious topics with your former partner in private when your child isn’t around.

Speaking negatively about your ex

Avoid using foul language or talking negatively about your former partner in front of your child. Children will often naturally see the traits of their parents in themselves. You may be planting seeds of insecurity if you are constantly speaking negatively about your child’s other parent. In addition, you are legally supposed to ensure that you do not negatively affect your children’s relationship with their parent and your former partner.

Talking inappropriately about money

Money is an adult business that doesn’t need to involve the kids. There are cases of parents venting their frustration over child support in front of their children. Sometimes the father or mother may complain about having to pay child support. Other times, the recipient of child support may express that the child support isn’t enough or that the recipient feels as if the ex-partner is hiding assets to decrease the amount of child support that they must pay. Don’t involve the kids in the topic of child support. Looking back, it will likely appear petty and materialistic.

Starting fights

It’s good to know when to let things go. Not every little disagreement needs to be clown into a full-on argument. Not wasting your emotional energy on nonsense issues will be something you’ll be grateful for. Continuous fighting will drain you and hurt your children in the long run.

Thinking your kids don’t know what’s going on

Children are often the most hurt when it comes to the fallout of a marriage or common law relationship. Keep these common mistakes in mind and change your actions to do everything in your power to create a peaceful and amicable relationship with your former partner (in some cases, this may not always be possible). Any relationship takes a great amount of effort and a friendship with your ex is no different.

Looking for a divorce lawyer or child support lawyer in Surrey to help you with a family law case? Consult with the lawyers at Nirwan Law. With the help of a child support lawyer from a divorce law firm, you may be able to make co-parenting easier.