It is often said that the true victims of divorce, whether it is amicable or hotly contested, are the children. Children often witness the anger and hurt that their parents feel, which then shapes the way children of divorce manage their own future relationships. 

Parental conflict is the most significant negative factor for children of divorce. During your Minnesota divorce, the best way protect your children is to keep them out of it as much as possible. Be careful not to legal papers in a place where your children may find them; and more importantly, never discuss the details of your divorce with your children. You might think your children are old enough to “know the truth” but the reality is that the truth is different for each parent and while sharing your truth may bring some relief to you, it burdens your children with pain which is not theirs to endure. Your children’s truth is that they love both of their parents and your children have a right to be in relationship with both parents without having to take sides.

It is essential that negative things about either parent are not said in front of your children. Do not allow others to say negative things – even if it is the “truth” and your spouse has done something hurtful. The bottom line is that you chose to have children with this person.  He or she is the other half of your parenting equation and will be for the rest of you children’s lives.  Saying negative things often backfires and you don’t want your children to be angry at and resentful you later when they recall the harsh things you or someone else said.

One of the best ways to protect your children is to attend mediation.  During divorce mediation in Minnesota, parents work with a mediator to create unique and customized custody and parenting time agreements.

If custody and visitation (parenting time) are contested, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem or a Custody Evaluator to provide insight regarding the needs and best interests of the children. This person meetswith the children to discuss their relationship with their parents, which can be scary, especially if they believe what they say may get their parents in trouble.  When the parents can agree on custody and parenting time in mediation, the children are insulated from the stress of divorce and allowed to focus on being a kid.