Prioritize Your Children
How can I help my children before the divorce?
Try not to let your marital issues or impending divorce affect your relationship
with your children or your spouse’s relationship with them. This
is best for your children, and will help you when determining custody.
If you are seeking custody of your children, you will need to show the
Oregon divorce court that you consistently have your children’s
best interests in mind and that you will facilitate your children’s
relationship with their other parent. Demonstrating these two things gives
you the best chance at a favorable parenting plan.
If you have minor children, whether you are the mother or father, make
sure to give them your full attention before and during divorce. Your
children may have many questions and fears as they observe parental conflict
and separation. You can support your children by being attentive and present
in their lives. Also, try not to argue with your spouse in front of your
children. Try to continue your children’s routines as much as possible,
especially once you separate from your spouse. Reassure your children
that both of their parents love them and will both continue in their lives.
There are many resources out there, both for children and for adults,
which discuss what children need to know about divorce and how you can
help them through the process.
Should I change my parenting?
If you have not taken an active parenting role before, you may want to
do so now, especially if you want the Oregon divorce court to award you
substantial parenting time. Learn your children’s daily routines
and develop relationships with their caregivers. This will help you during
the divorce if custody is disputed and the judge needs to see your parenting
abilities. It will also prepare you for your future role as a single parent.
Again, there are numerous guidebooks about single parenting and parenting
styles. If you want good parenting advice, it’s out there.