Compassionate Allies, Aggressive Advocates

Parental responsibility: Being conscious about co-parenting

Divorce doesn't need to impact children negatively as was the belief held many decades ago. In fact, in terms of Florida parents' parental responsibility to their kids, it may be more of a detriment to their children to stay in an unhappy, angst-filled marriage for the sake of their offspring. Just because a marriage is over doesn't mean a family has to end as well, and when a couple makes a concerted effort to positively co-parent their children, it's a win-win situation. 

A prominent psychotherapist says if children are allowed to feel certain emotions caused by divorce such as anger, sadness, grief and confusion, they will be able to heal more readily. It's up to the adults in their lives -- and that includes any stepparents -- to help them to process their feelings. In fact, the psychotherapist believes that children can learn how to overcome life's hurdles by mirroring how their parents handle divorce. They can learn to problem solve, manage conflict, to be mindful and resilient.

Parents should never blame, shame or demonize each other in front of their kids. By respecting each other's boundaries, children learn to understand and respect boundaries, too. Children will learn to respect themselves and others if they see the adults in their lives doing the same.

The parental responsibility to children of divorce is transparent when it comes to the law in Florida. Helping children get through tough times might be easier with a comprehensive parenting plan -- a document with which an attorney can help. A lawyer can make a parent aware of the tools available to him or her under family law in the state. It is better for a divorced parent to have those tools than to struggle to help their kids process a likely difficult life change.

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  • The Florida Bar| Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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