Divorce is a challenging and emotional time, especially if you have children. Aside from the mental and emotional issues you may be facing, mixing divorce and children also means you need to come up with custody and visitation rights as well as a reasonable financial agreement.
Adding military deployment to the mix can make it even more challenging. But that does not you’re your children should take the backseat and be compromised. Both you and your ex-spouse can still successfully parent despite these tough times.
5 Tips for Dealing With Divorce and Children
1. Don't create a bad impression of your spouse in your children's minds. One of the most common divorce and children parenting mistakes happens when both parties try to win the affection of their kids by bad-mouthing the other partner. No matter how strong your negative feelings are toward your ex-spouse, do not let your children see them. Your children should still see the best of their parents.
2. Have a healthy communication with your ex. Don't let your children become messengers. Even though you may still be feeling angry at your ex, you need to set aside these personal feelings for the sake of the kids. Thanks to technology, distance should not be a hindrance to communication. You can get in touch with each other through messenger or email to discuss things that concern your children without ever having to see your former partner -- or even actually talk to him or her.
3. Don't teach your child to lie about what's happening in the house. Co-parenting with your ex-spouse means that each party should know what is going on in the household. Having your children lie to your ex-spouse just to make him feel like an outsider is a terrible mistake. Both parties should still be there for your children during important events by making them aware of what is happening.
And being away for deployment or stationed far away does not mean that the other military parent partner is no longer a part of the kids’ lives. Let them be aware of any special occasions, recent achievements or even just minor misdemeanors of the kids.
4. Give your children and your ex the privacy they need. One of the hardest parts of going through the military divorce process is arranging the visitation and custodial rights. Once you have come up with an agreeable arrangement, make sure that you respect the time given for both parties. If one partner is facing deployments or long training away, it is important for the other parent to respect the time he or she has with the kids, even if that means making up for lost time. Kids need this time to bond with their parents and ensure that healthy and harmonious relationships are maintained.
5. Keep revenge and jealousy aside. Going through a broken relationship can leave pain and scars. Even though it’s hard, you and your ex-spouse should set aside these personal feelings and work with each other for the benefit of your kids. Keep your kids' best interests in mind, and make sure that your actions and words don’t have a negative effect on your children. If one of you has found a new partner, respect that relationship. Accept that no matter how hard both of you have tried, your marriage is over.
6. Seek professional advice. If both of you are struggling with co-parenting your kids, do not be ashamed to ask for professional help. Hire a good divorce attorney that can help you discuss parenting arrangements, especially when the other partner is away with the military, and check on different aspects of financial aid that can be arranged. Look for a support group where members have ex-spouses who are military so that you can get tips on how to be a successful military co-parent.
Ending your marriage does not mean that you can no longer both be good parents.
Mason is a successful writer and loves to write well-researched and high-quality content on different topics related to marriage, family, financial issues and business opportunities. He also devotes himself to coaching and counseling clients like divorce attorneys.