When people talk about divorce’s effect on parents and children, the perspective is often negative. It’s surprisingly common for people to assume that divorce will only do damage to parent-child relationships.
While it can be hard to only get to spend a certain amount of time with your children, that doesn’t mean divorce has to damage your relationship with them. In fact, there are several ways that divorce could actually turn you in to a better parent.
Parenting time requires you to get more involved
It is very common for to have an uneven split in parental responsibilities in a marriage. If your spouse did more of the child-rearing, you probably don’t feel confident about your parenting. When you share custody, everything from feeding the kids to structuring their day becomes your responsibility. While you may feel overwhelmed at first, know that your parenting skills will increase with time.
Less time together makes you focus more on quality
When you only get to spend 50% of the time or the weekends with your children, that time becomes much more precious. Living together can make it very easy to take your relationship for granted.
Seeing your children part of the time can motivate you to plan special events with the kids and also to cherish your quiet time together. Downtime is as important to your relationship as having exciting adventures can be.
Ending an unhappy marriage can make you happier and healthier
A big part of what you do as a parent involves demonstrating how to be an adult for your children. During your marriage, you may have modeled unhealthy relationship practices. You may also have been so stressed out by the contention with your spouse that you couldn’t fully focus on what your kids needed.
Focusing on your own emotional recovery after divorce will make you a better parent and put you into a position to model a healthy relationship for your children sometime in the future. Having an experienced family law attorney on your side during divorce will make it easier for you to keep a good perspective on the positive changes that come with shared custody.