If you are considering divorce or are pursuing one, YOU MUST READ this 3-part series to ensure the well-being of your child. Most children have the resiliency to overcome the challenges of divorce, but when it becomes a high-conflict situation, it’s incumbent upon you to use emotional management, especially when your kids are around. The damage to your child is not always the divorce itself, but rather it is the continued animosity between you and your spouse that they witness. Be the rock in your child’s life and avoid these destructive divorce behaviors.
TAKING YOUR DIVORCE ONLINE
Note to self… push back from the keyboard – “don’t do it!” Taking it public to share the heartache, anger, and everything the former spouse “did to you.” I call this the “Parade of Horribles.” Divorce affects everything you and your spouse are integrated with, including your child.
Take a look at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, then used her star status to unleash the media. At the heart of it was a custody battle, claims of an unfair trial, an unqualified judge, new court petitions bouncing back and forth, and dragging her ex through the mud. Six years later, and still no resolution. It doesn’t matter who you believe, the true victims are their six children caught in the middle. Used as pawns in the public eye, and most of them are old enough to read about it online.
Keep the details of your divorce private from the public domain. Uphold your integrity and rise above your need to publicly vent. Choose to protect your child over getting even.
THE EFFECT OF PUBLIC DIVORCE ON CHILDREN
It’s never pretty, in fact, it’s accurate to describe it as “parents gone wild.”
Parental Alienation – Most likely you feel hurt, tempting you to villainize your spouse online. We all understand that we don’t post online when we’ve had too many glasses of wine. The same is true when you are angry. Blasting accusations can be reasonably calculated to put your child in the line of your divorce fire. Your emotions can cause them to feel guilty. So, choose not to do that.
Bullying – Online gossip spreads like fire and gets more exaggerated with each telling. Your divorce may be entertaining for others, but it can cause serious harm to your child. Children who are exposed to aggressive behaviors at home often transfer this conduct to others. Those in high-conflict divorces have a higher risk of losing relationships with friends, family, and especially a non-resident parent, usually the father. [i]
Predators – Your sole responsibility is to protect your child, and with 5 billion people on the internet, there’s reason for concern. Every day predators search the internet for that lost child looking for a friend to console them about their parent’s divorce. Posting your problems online places your child at risk for predators who are quick to be that needed confidant. Keep your divorce offline. Period.
EFFECT OF PUBLIC DIVORCE ON YOU
Posting about your split online can negatively influence the divorce process and impact your own reputation.
Financial Sharing – Remember, your online posts can be used against you in court. Are you exposing confidential information or revealing private financial details?
Spousal Blasting – Watch what you say. Spouting vengeance and accusations in a moment of anger can result in a defamation claim.
Unsolicited Opinions – It’s important to surround yourself with a strong network of support and not open the door to 500 opinions of people you barely know.
Evidence – Anything you say can, and will, be held against you in a court of law. Got it?
There are many reasons to fight with your soon-to-be ex, but I encourage you to drop your weapons. Burdening the community, you, your child, and the other parent is simply a bad idea. Choose to walk through your divorce with integrity. It’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child thrives during the divorce.
Mitigate the social and psychological impact on your child. Embrace positive communications with your spouse and keep it private! It’s healthy for your child long-term and shows the courts you both can communicate and maintain an agreeable relationship.
At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.
Mia Poppe, Esq.
Are you considering divorce and think mediation may be the right option for you and your family? Contact the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates today to schedule a consultation to talk with an attorney about whether mediation or litigation is the right fit for your situation.