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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Speaking positively about the other parent during divorce

Most parents in Tennessee who divorce are concerned about how the separation will affect their children. Few may realize that there are some seemingly harmless ways in which they might undermine their child's healing from divorce. One of these ways is by calling the other parent an "ex." An "ex" is a person who belongs in the past, but a couple who has children together will be connected for life regardless of their feelings for one another.

Better terms to use are the child's mother or father, the co-parent or the former partner. While it can be a difficult habit to absorb, it is important to do so because children often pick up on small signals during this time. It may be even more difficult to get family and friends to follow this rule as well.

However, it is important to keep in mind that many compromises made during divorce are for the sake of the children. This includes making an effort to speak about the ex-spouse in a certain way around the children and to refer to the spouse as someone still present and important in the child's life.

Negotiating child custody may be a painful experience for parents. It might be difficult for a parent to face the idea of not having their child always with them even if they believe it is best for the child to spend time with both parents. However, parents should work to make decisions based on the best interests of the child just as a judge would. Furthermore, parents who are able to reduce conflict during the divorce may be better co-parents. Lower-conflict divorces often lead to children adjusting to the separation with less difficulty.

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