Custody should be taken seriously by both parents for the sake of themselves and their children. After a schedule is created, it is important for both parties to follow it closely to avoid any further conflicts.
Children may be naturally curious about why the schedule is the way it is. Parents should approach the topic carefully and know what they should and should not discuss with them. Here are some parts to avoid talking about with your kids regarding custody:
Badmouthing your spouse
If the custody schedule was set up due to accommodate the spouses’ jobs and locations, then you can mention parts of it to your children. However, in some instances where the court felt that one parent deserved more custody time than the other, such as one with a criminal record or a better parenting history, you would be better off not telling them certain details that could paint your ex in a negative light.
What to say/do with your other spouse
Even though you no longer live in the same household, you and your ex have your own ways of parenting and can communicate with each other if anything comes up for your kid. Your child shouldn’t be a messenger for any negative emotions you may have towards them and you shouldn’t force your kid treat them differently than they do with you.
Why you went through a divorce
Your child may still be in disbelief that the divorce happened to begin with even after you have already explained it to them before it happened. It takes some time for them to adjust to you and your ex living separately, so they may ask you why you broke up again. Keep it simple and just say that you and your ex could not make their relationship work, and if it’s needed, make sure your child knows that they were not responsible for the breakup.
That you have child support
Similar to child custody, this can be a tough-talking point depending on your circumstances. Some parents who were stay-at-home before the divorce may have their children ask how they will live on their own without a breadwinner at home. If you believe that the reasoning for the amount of spousal/child support you receive could be seen as badmouthing your ex or yourself, you should avoid going into excessive detail.
Divorce is not easy. Neither is child custody. However, following these tips will help you make the process easier on your children and help keep them mentally healthy.