Your divorce is going to be hard on you, but it is also going to be incredibly difficult for your children. You probably already know that you were going to need to take action to keep yourself grounded and emotionally stable as the divorce process moves forward.
You need to also make a concerted and deliberate effort to keep the focus of the family on the children and their emotional needs to protect your kids and after your divorce. Thankfully, you do not need to sacrifice your own emotional well-being to protect your kids from the worst effects of ending your marriage.
Your kids don't need to witness fights
Once you separate from your ex, you will likely only see each other occasionally, such as when you exchange custody of your children. It is common for couples to get into arguments, but that could be very damaging for your children.
As soon as you know that divorce is an inevitable part of your future, talk to your ex and work out an agreement so that you can shield your children from your emotional reactions and any disagreements or fights.
Focus on the positive when talking with your kids
People get divorced for all kinds of reasons, including infidelity. Even if you feel like your ex has done you wrong, your kids don't necessarily need to know that. When they are older and independent, they may come to you with questions, at which point it will be reasonable to discuss the issues that led to the end of your marriage.
Right now, when they are young or even teenagers, they don't need to know the details. You should keep it simple. Agree on a simple explanation with your ex, such as you will both be happier on your own. Also, do everything in your power to avoid talking negatively about your ex to or in front of your kids. That kind of language could damage their perception of you or your ex and their relationships that they have with either of you.
Don't force your children to choose
It is less common these days for the courts in Colorado to award custody to just one parent. Instead, they prefer shared custody situations that provide the broadest social support base for the kids. Still, parents may put their children on the spot and ask them who they prefer to live with after the divorce.
Knowing that both parents will play a role in co-parenting should help you avoid questions that could make your child worry about alienating or upsetting either of their parents.
Try to be reasonable and thorough in your parenting planA good parenting plan doesn't just outline parental responsibilities and custody. It also discusses expectations for the parents, expectations for the kids, ways to deal with conflict and the structure of your family unit after the divorce.
The more inclusive and thorough you are when creating your parenting plan, the fewer issues you are likely to have with your ex in the future.