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The Most Common Mistakes Divorced Parents Make with Kids

Divorce can be extremely difficult for children simply due to the major lifestyle changes it involves. It can become even more emotionally strenuous when parents fail to consider the emotions and needs of their children in their decision making after the divorce is finalized.

The following a few of the most common mistakes divorced parents make with their kids, and how you can avoid them:

  • Making children a go-between. If you and your former spouse do not get along, the last thing you should do is turn your children into messengers for you. You are the adult here — it’s up to you to be mature and communicate with the other parent about issues with your children. If you cannot handle in-person or telephone communication, use email or text messages. But whatever you do, don’t make your kids deliver messages for you.
  • Using children as therapists. Never vent your frustrations and anger, or any other issues stemming from your divorce, to your children. They are your kids — not your friends or your therapist. Seek assistance from professionals if necessary, but never blur the parent/child relationship, as it could be emotionally damaging for the both of you.
  • Avoiding discipline. Just because you and your children are all in an emotionally vulnerable place doesn’t mean all of your household rules go out the window. Make it clear to your kids that you still expect them to follow your rules and behave at school. If they step out of line, discipline them in the same way you would have before the divorce.
  • Not listening to your children. Kids need to feel understood, especially during such a difficult time. Listen to them and let them tell you what they’re feeling. Respond to what they are telling you and let them know you understand why they are upset. You don’t necessarily have to have a solution, but just knowing you understand their problems can make your children feel much better about things.

To help make the divorce process less stressful for you and your loved ones, speak with a knowledgeable Minneapolis family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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