While people are going through a divorce, emotions can run wild, words said, and animosity may rocket. None of this helps settling a divorce. Below are a few guidelines:
1. Do not post on any social media comments about the divorce, your spouse, your spouse’s girlfriend/boyfriend, or the children.
2. Do not get your new girlfriend/boyfriend involved. Better yet, do not get involved with another person romantically until the divorce is done.
3. When speaking to your spouse, be polite.
4. When texting your spouse, be polite and stick to the subject. No threats, no swearing, no arguing, no discussing new romances.
5. Do not involve the children. This means you do not interrogate the children when they come home from the other parent’s house, you do not tell the children about your marital woes, you do not ask the children where they want to live (what children should have to make that decision), you do not tell the children about the status of the divorce or discuss child support, and you do not malign your spouse to the children. In other words, the children should not be involved. This is not their divorce and you want your children to get through this as unscathed as possible.
6. Do not argue with your spouse. If there is a divorce/child/finance issue that you need to discuss with your spouse but cannot, have your attorney communicate for you. If you do not have an attorney, you can use the services of a mediator.
7. Encourage the children to see the other parent (unless, of course, if there has been abuse or if the children would be endangered).
8. If necessary, consider counseling for yourself to help with the stress of a divorce. If the children appear to be affected adversely, have the children see a counselor or therapist.
9. Do not involve the children’s friends, teachers, grandparents, relatives, or neighbors.
10.Do not use drugs or alcohol to help you through this stressful time.
11. Even if your spouse threatens, swears, defames you, and is out of line, you MUST not react in kind. Just because your spouse is acting inappropriately does not give you permission to act inappropriately.
12.If you suspect that your spouse may accuse you of abuse, always have another adult with you when you pick up or drop off your children.
Basically it all comes down to the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you.[i]
Matthew 7:12: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (New International Version)