Getting divorced is it an emotionally complex process. People often experience the different stages of grief as they head toward the end of their marriage. They may also experience extreme frustration at how long it takes to go from filing divorce to finalizing divorce. This process is even longer when you have minor children.
Protracted divorce proceedings can sometimes lead to a build-up of intense emotions. That can lead both parents in a divorce to push as hard as possible for their preferred outcome. Unfortunately, when parents choose to fight it out over custody, the children are the ones who lose.
The more contentious the divorce, the more damage it can cause
Most parents already understand that a divorce will have an adverse psychological impact on their children. Kids can take a long time to bounce back from watching their parents go through a divorce. The messier and more bitter your divorce becomes, the stronger the likelihood that it will have a long-term negative impact on your child's emotional, social and even physical health.
In other words, if you want to do what is right for your children, you need to make every effort to minimize the acrimony between you and your ex. No matter how intensely you feel about the situation, you should always try to shield your children from the negativity of the divorce.
When children have to testify about whom they would rather live with, listen to their parents berate one another on the stand or witness intense arguments during custody exchanges, it can strain the child's emotional well-being and their relationship with the parents.
Try your best to keep the focus on the kids and work together
Doing your best to keep things civil with your ex is typically the best approach to shielding your kids from the emotional fallout of divorce. In general, a willingness to compromise and a focus on keeping your kids happy and stable during divorce can do a lot to mitigate the negative effects.
However, it isn't always possible for parents to compromise on custody. If you have any reason to believe that shared custody would be an unsafe situation for your children, that is a situation in which pressing for sole custody may be the best thing for your kids. If your ex is abusive or has issues with addiction, their home may not safe or stable for the children.
Unless your family has extreme circumstances, such as abuse or addiction, chances are very good that no matter how you argue in court, you will still end up sharing custody with your ex. Accepting that fact with grace and choosing to work together can make it easier to co-parent after divorce, and your kids from the damage an angry divorce can cause.