Here at Delk & Tomlinson, we believe in co-parenting. Divorce, particularly a divorce involving children, is never easy. However, we believe that by dealing with the divorce and your relationship with your child in a healthy way, the impact of a divorce can be cushioned. The following is a helpful potential script for talking with your child:
1. We both love you very much and will continue to love you.
2. Our divorce is not your fault, and you did nothing to cause it.
3. We will always help and protect you.
4. We cannot get back together as husband and wife. Do not hope for it.
5. We are divorcing as husband and wife, not as mother and father.
6. We will communicate and work together on matters concerning you.
7. We will not say bad things about each other.
8. You will not have to choose between us.
9. We will support each other’s rules.
10. We want you to do well in school and life.
11. There will be changes in all of our lives as a result of the divorce, but we are committed to working together even though we will be a divorced family. We do not expect you to use our divorce as an excuse for problems in your life, but when there are difficulties, we want you to know you can talk about them so we can work them out.
12. We don’t know all the details about the future, but we’ll tell you as soon as we know.
13. You will be able to visit all grandparents, aunts, and uncles and they won’t say bad things about either of us.
14. You have our permission to mind, respect, and love your other parent and grandparents.
All of the above can be empty words to a child.
Put each of the above statements into practice- kids can usually tell if you’re not being genuine. Being respectful to your ex-spouse is HARD. We get it. We do.
However, we see too many cases where the parents put themselves above the well-being of their children. Your child or children will thank you later. Even if this is a one-sided strategy: Your children will benefit. Stay the course!