Any couple who is going through separation or divorce will face a lot of stress throughout the process, especially if they already have children. They will struggle to cope with their emotions, splitting their assets, moving homes, and deciding about a parenting agreement.
Most of the time, you might feel that you and your partner can’t agree on something. But when going through a divorce, there is one crucial thing that you both must agree on, to prioritize your children and their well-being. You need to put them at the center of your decisions and actions. Think of how it will affect them and what you can do to protect their mental health and well-being.
But what does this mean in terms of your daily life? How can you and your ex-partner agree on what is good for your children and how you are going to put them first?
In order to make good decisions, it is better to start understanding the fundamental rights that a child deserves after the separation or divorce of their parents. Use these basic rights as a motivation or guide for every decision and action you will make moving forward.
Doing so will help you develop decisions that focus on your child’s best interests.
Basic Rights of a Child After a Divorce
The Right to be a Child
Each child has a right to be what they are. They are a child, that’s it. Childhood is an important part of life, and parents are obligated to do everything they can to give their children the right to enjoy a healthy and happy childhood.
The Right of Relationship with Both Parents
Every child deserves a loving relationship with both of their parents. It is important that each parent has a healthy presence in their child’s life. Other adults that are connected with the child must not take this opportunity away from the child. They should not hinder the child’s connection to both parents unless they are a bad influence.
The Right to a Relationship with other Family Members
Every child has the right to have a connection with other family members on both sides of their parents. They do not need to choose. They should have the freedom to communicate with them and have healthy relationships. Parents shouldn’t try to influence the feelings of their children about extended family.
Both parents should consider working together to help their children have a relationship with other family members. They should also actively assist their children in maintaining those bonds. In order to keep the child’s relationship strong with the other side of the family, it is better if both parents are involved in encouraging the child.
The Right to Live a Life Free from Parental Conflict
Each child has the right to live peacefully and free without being in between the conflict between the parents. Do your best to protect your child against your conflict with one another.
This includes communicating in a manner that your child won’t hear both of you arguing or talking aggressively about your situation. Think of how you can prevent your child from being exposed in your heated conversations or accidentally reading your conversations from chats or messages.
For example, if you are in a meeting or phone call with your trusted family lawyer discussing the divorce, find a quiet place in your home. Lock yourself in a room where your child can’t hear the sensitive conversation.
Consider using a co-parenting platform instead of phone calls and text messages when conflict is rising. One example is OurFamilyWizard. This platform helps you in resolving any communication issues while also protecting your children from getting caught in the middle of your conflict.
The Right to not Become a Messenger
Other than being protected from parental conflict, each child deserves not to become a messenger between their parents. One parent should not use their child to deliver a message to another because the child will be exposed to your problems. This is the same as putting them in the middle of your tension.
The Right to not Be a Therapist
Each child has the right to live freely without acting as a therapist of their parents. They should not be exposed to more emotional weight. Kids will notice if their parent is angry, stressed, or sad. That is why parents should be aware of what they are saying to their children.
The Right to Express Themselves
Children have a right to be free about their true feelings to their parents. They should be able to express their feelings about the situation without fear or guilt. Parents should give their attention to their children and make them feel loved.
These are the fundamental rights of your child after your divorce. Keep these things in mind to ensure that your child does not experience stressful situations as you separate ways with your partner. Use these as a guide for your decisions and actions.