Separations are emotionally and physically draining at the best of times.
When children are involved things can get more complicated; not only do you need to look out for yourself during the difficult transition but also your child.
Both before and after separation it is important to be mindful of how the separation is affecting your children and to ensure that you always act in their best interests; just like your family lawyer is acting in yours.
You and your ex-partner can still co-parent to raise a healthy, well-adjusted person without being together.
The language you use both with and about your ex-partner is not lost on your children. As family lawyers we know the power of positive, respectful language during a separation:
- If you referred to your ex as “mummy/daddy” to the children before the separation, you should continue to do so afterwards
- Sit together, and jointly explain to the children that you both love them very much, and reassure them that the are in no way responsible for your separation. Reiterate this when you are on your own with the children
- Regularly check in to see how your children are feeling
- Always keep your tone and words respectful and positive when talking about your ex. Be very mindful when the children might be able to overhear you talking to or about your ex
- If your ex has a new partner, avoid talking about them negatively
Children notice the nuanced negative changes. Refrain from using children to gather information on your ex’s new life, or in any way using the children as leverage in an argument.
Maintaining mutual respect in a relationship breakdown is crucial for your child’s welfare.
Keep calm and in control
Separations can unfortunately get nasty. Voicing your frustrations to your children will have a negative effect on the way they deal with the separation and can even affect the way they form their own adult relationships in the future. Instead, speak to a friend, counsellor, or your family lawyer.
Social media is equally fraught. If your children are not already online, they soon will be. Before you take to social media to vent, remember what you post can never be completely erased. There may also be serious legal ramifications for you.
And finally, it is a common trap to fall into competition with your ex-partner. This only leads to the children feeling used or developing a skewed value system. Try to reinforce your love for the children in emotionally healthy ways.
Support for you
Just like you and your ex are your children’s best support network throughout the separation, Leach Legal are the family law solicitors working for your best interests. Contact us to find out how we can support you, starting with a free 15-minute consultation.