Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Children have rights, even when their parents divorce

Children have specific rights as they grow up. These don't go away just because their parents are going through a divorce. As one of the adults in the relationship, you should review these rights so that you're able to ensure your children are getting what they need.

One of the most important things to remember is that your children need to continue to build relationships with family members. The divorce is between you and your ex, but your child should still have meaningful relationships with you and your ex. They also need to know extended family members, but they may feel unsure of how each parent will feel about this. Be sure you're encouraging them to do this.

Another right is to be a child. They should be able to do things that other kids do and not be forced to become miniature adults. One way you can encourage this is to allow them to spend time with their friends. You also need to avoid talking to them about problems in the divorce. No child should be a sounding board or messenger for their parents.

Children also need to have a safe place to let their feelings out. Helping them to work through their feelings and working with them to find appropriate ways to express them are beneficial. Since some children won't speak up when they're struggling, you should pay attention to how they are behaving, so you can speak to them if you see anything concerning.

Finally, the kids need a stable foundation for life. Part of this comes from having a solid parenting plan that sets standards for both homes. This includes having a schedule that enables them to spend time with both parents.

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