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Divorce Do's and Don'ts

Sept. 16, 2013

Are you looking to file for divorce in California? The divorce process brings out heightened emotions and frustrations out of people and it makes it very easy for people to get angry and act out in the moment; however, when children are involved in the divorce, it is very important for parents to keep their cool and think of the consequences of their actions before they take action.

Just because you and your spouse are filing for divorce does not mean that your family is coming to an end. Co-parenting is attainable after a divorce and it is typically more beneficial for the children when the parents share parenting responsibilities. Divorce can be especially difficult for children to understand and the transition can be tough. If you want to avoid family dysfunction and move forward as one family unit, then you should be aware of the divorce do's and don'ts. The following are helpful guidelines for you to keep in mind as you go through the divorce process:

Do's – What to Do in a Divorce Case

  1. Do create a united front with you and the other parent so that the children respect your decisions

  2. Do set household rules so that the children feel they are in a stable, safe environment

  3. Do try and keep to a routine so that the children have stability and structure in their life

  4. Do avoid playing the blame game by putting down the parent

  5. Do focus on how to resolve problems and conflict in a calm fashion

  6. Do address any behavioral issues when the children act out. This is typically an outward expression of their emotional distress regarding the divorce and it should be addressed.

  7. Do encourage the child to have a meaningful relationship with the other parent

  8. Do make sure that the child does not feel like a stranger or visitor in your home. Try to make sure that they have belongings at both homes if they go back and forth between both parents.

  9. Do reinforce that the divorce is not their fault and that you will love them no matter what

  10. Do explain changes in advance that will occur in their schedule and routine so that they can be prepared

  11. Do make your parenting plan child focused so that it meets their best interests

  12. Do check up on your children by talking with them and seeing how they are coping with the transition

  13. Do focus on rebuilding your family even though the dynamic has changed

Don'ts – What Not to Do in a Divorce Case

  1. Don't put your children in the middle if you and the other parent are experiencing conflict

  2. Don't fight with your ex-spouse in front of the children

  3. Don't talk ill of the other parent in front of the children

  4. Don't discourage your children from listening to the other parent

  5. Don't introduce a new significant other to the children for at least six months after the divorce

  6. Don't use your children to relay messages back and forth between you and the other parent

  7. Don't refuse the other parent visitation time if they are behind on child support payments

  8. Don't talk to your children about your problems, this will only add stress to their lives

  9. Don't try and represent yourself in a divorce case

  10. Don't be late when dropping off or picking up your children from the other parent

  11. Don't hold onto to past hurt, try and move forward

  12. Don't be afraid to seek help- your attorney is there to help you get through the divorce process and if you need someone to talk to, don't be afraid to talk to a therapist about what you are feeling.

  13. Don't make any rash decisions in the heat of the moment- take time to think about the consequences of your actions and how it will affect your children later on.

Serving Families for Over 30 Years

Here at the Law Office of Fritzie Galliani, APC, we are committed to helping families who are facing divorce and other complex family matters. Our Pasadena divorce lawyer has more than three decades of experience and is are well-versed in California family law. If you want high caliber legal representation in your divorce case, contact a Pasadena divorce attorney from our firm today!