Many parents worry about how their children will adjust to a divorce. While many assume divorce is always bad for children, it is not all that surprising that in cases of high conflict marriages kids may actually benefit. This is especially true if parents can leave the conflict behind after the divorce, forging a workable co-parenting relationship that prioritizes a child’s wellbeing.
Although resentment and anger toward a partner may linger after the divorce, it is important to look forward, not back so that the high conflict a child experienced during the marriage does not carry over to their lives post-divorce. Undermining an ex-spouse or getting into heated arguments can increase the likelihood that a child will experience depression and anxiety or act out in ways that wreak havoc on their relationships and school performance.
Both child and parents benefit from co-parenting relationships that emphasize low conflict and cooperation, which sometimes is easier said than done early on, but it is something that parents can work toward. For example, ex partners struggling to effectively cooperate after a divorce may want to agree to limit early communication to an email chain, voicemails, or weekly phone calls devoted strictly to managing parenting concerns, perhaps moving toward more open interaction as they go.
During communication, transitioning from a battleground to common ground can be achieved by regulating emotional responses to an ex, avoiding the trap of getting triggered intentionally or unintentionally. Both parents should actively shift the focus to the well-being of the child to keep communication moving in a positive and productive direction. It may be that one parent will have to take the high ground for a while before the other parent is willing to engage without bringing sensitive topics into the conversation, but it is worth the time and effort to emerge as a well-functioning family where a child can thrive.
Of course every situation is unique, but the best environment for any child is one absent of ongoing conflict. If parents are able to support each other in their parenting, leaving behind the conflict in favor of working as a team all the better. A child’s mental health, self-esteem, academic performance, and future relationships may ride on how their parents handle the aftermath of a divorce so it is certainly in the family’s interest to try. If you have questions regarding Wisconsin’s child custody or visitation, contact the Waukesha divorce lawyers of Probst Law Offices for immediate assistance today at 414-210-3135.