28 Jan Your Family Court Case is Not an Open Book (or a bedtime story)
We have all been there. Life is happening all around us. At times, we find ourselves frustrated, upset, and just not having a great day. These feelings and emotions can be amplified during divorce and Family Court litigation. When life hits us the hardest, most of us want to be vocal — we want to talk, to tell the world or anyone who will listen. Often, it is our children who are right there with us. Sometimes, understandably, they have questions. It’s their life too, right? Their family’s dynamics are changing, so shouldn’t they know what’s going on with your case?
The answer is No, they should not.
Never discuss your Family Court case with your children. This is highly-discouraged and is looked down upon by Judges, Guardians Ad Litem, Friends of the Court, and the like. Not only that, doing so could land you in hot water if there is an Order against it.
Most importantly, disparaging remarks are harmful, putting your child right in the middle of an adult situation. Your child should never be told that the child support was late this month, or that Mom filed a new Motion to Modify Parenting Time. They should never find out that mediation failed because Dad refused to settle. These types of things should not be on the minds of our children who deserve to be just that, children, no matter their age. Deborah Serani, Doctor of Psychology, elaborates on the harm that can result from inappropriate exposure to this type of communication:
Don’t burden your child. Emotionally charged issues about your Ex should never be part of your parenting … The main thing here is this: Don’t expose children to conflict. Research shows that putting children in the middle of your adult issues promotes feelings of helplessness and insecurity, causing children to question their own strengths and abilities.
If your child is seeing a Therapist or a Counselor, we recommend that you work very closely with that mental health professional to handle issues related to your Family Court Matter. Follow their advice and recommendations. If you and your former spouse still have a relationship, communicate with them and decide together as a team how new changes should be introduced to your children.
If you need to vent, privately call a trusted friend or family member. Also remember, just as it is damaging to speak negatively about your ex-spouse, it is never okay to post negative, damaging or disparaging remarks about your child’s other parent on social media. This type of behavior brings your private family details to a very public arena for any and everyone to like, comment, screenshot, or reply negatively to. The number of people who may see your posts is limitless, to include relatives, teachers, peers, colleagues and unfortunately, your very own children. Always think before you post! Do not assume that your children will not see a post just because you are not “friends” with them on social media.
Always let the best interest of your children motivate you. Protect them, and be a source of constant support. If you need help with how to best communicate with and around your children, or with any other aspect of your Family Court case, call Helmers+Associates or another lawyer with your questions.