For better or worse, divorces do not happen overnight. It can take several months to move from “divorcing” to “divorced.” During this transition period, you do not stop being a parent, which means you will still have to raise your kids with each other, even though you are living separately.
This can be a very thorny situation. However, there are ways to get through it, like securing a temporary child custody order. You can also take care to avoid four parenting mistakes that could hurt you and your children in the long run.
Mistake #1: Neglecting time with your children
Do not assume that just because you aren’t living with your kids that you won’t see them. During separation, it can be critical to stay involved in their lives. This helps your kids feel better and it shows your commitment to parenting, which can be crucial when it comes to establishing permanent custody.
Mistake #2: Keeping the other parent from your children
Unless the other parent is a danger to your children, you should be sure he or she has access to them during separation. This adjustment can be very difficult on the children, and making sure they spend time with both of you is critical.
Mistake #3: Being vindictive or completely inflexible
One factor the courts consider when assessing custody plans is whether the parents are willing and able to work together. If one parent is not, then this can work against him or her with regard to the court’s determination of custody.
Mistake #4: Engaging in dangerous, illegal behavior
If you wind up with a DUI, arrested for drug possession or injured after engaging in a violent assault, then you could lose time with your children now and after a divorce. Dangerous, illegal behavior can threaten the safety of your kids as well your capabilities as a parent in the eyes of the court.
Parenting during separation is difficult, and there is no one solution that can make it easier for every family. However, avoiding these four mistakes can be wise for every parent. For information on other ways to protect your rights as a parent and your children during separation, you can discuss them in detail with an attorney.