Divorce Parenting

Divorce Parenting is done in many different ways. There is single parenting and co-parenting. As laid out in the United Nations Rights of the Child parents should focus and act in line with the best interest of the child principle. We discuss the main issues that are related to divorce parenting.

The Emotions of the Child

Each child reacts different on a divorce. Some seem to handle it relatively easy, without a lot of negative emotions. Others can experience a lot of stress. The stress could result from the uncertainty of their new situation.

They can also become angry. Or they lock themselves from their social network. Children with the age between 5 and 8 tend often think they are the cause of the divorce of their parents. They might ask themselves whether their parents still love them. By talking about their emotions frequently, parents will know what is going on in their little heads. With that knowledge, they can help their children of divorce to overcome their negative emotions.

Do Not Make Them Choose

Your children have 2 parents. They have the right to be with both of them as they wish. During the divorce and in the period right after the divorce, parents are often more guided by their emotions than by what they really need to do.

Complaining about your ex partner, nagging about her or his bad habits and poor manners does will set your children up against your ex spouse or maybe even against yourself. Your children might feel that they have to choose between one of their parents. This will bring up new negative emotions.

If you try to get your children on your side during the divorce, you implicitly let them choose between their parents. So, think twice before you involve them in the process of the divorce.

Talking about your ex partner in a negative way does not help either. One parent can say about the other parent that he or she does something in a different way without judging. Negative talk actually tells the mind of your children that something is wrong with one of their parents. It will give them the impression that they need to choose between one of them.

Blaming the other parent of the divorce and anything else is in fact the same as talking negative. Here again, parents could speak about the differences, leaving out the blaming.

Do not fight with your ex

Fighting over the divorce does not help you nor your spouse. The harder your fight, the less convenient your children will feel. Especially if you and your ex partner shout at each other all the time, the children might become frightened.

On the other hand, if you end your marriage in an adult and calm way, your children will feel much more at ease too.

Communicate about the divorce.

To start with, make them also clear that the divorce is not their fault.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to communicate about the divorce. Be transparent about the process, about what will be the next step and about what their lives will look like during the next months and years. This will take a lot of stress out of them.

Avoid being negative, stick to the facts. Of course you can also talk about your own emotions and without blaming. To divorce hurts both the parents and the children. Time will heal the pain.

There is one exception. Do not talk about finances in divorce parenting. Your children cannot help you fill up your wallet. As worreis about the financial situation can make children very uncertain, it is better not to talk about it at all. Only in a very general wording you could say that money is not an issue.

Discipline and structure

Discipline and structure are important factors for a healthy development of children. Pay attention to them in your divorce parenting. Discipline learn them how to take responsibility in their own hands. Structure is the pre-requisite for a safe environment in which they can experiment and learn.

For example: making homework is from 16:00 to 17:00 hours. Until dinner they can play in the garden or in the house. The structure and discipline also helps them to develop appropriate social behavior.


By bonding with your children, you create a relationship of trust and confidence in which your children feel secure. I you have a good bond with your children, they will come to you to discuss their problems. They will also be much more open to your good advice. So, for good divorce parenting, build and extend the bond with your children.


Divorces parents live apart. The children will live with one of them at a time. If the children move between the 2 houses from time to time, we speak of co-parenting. Co-parenting has many advantages for the children and for both of the parents. To be successful in co-parenting, it is important that you discuss parenting with your ex partner on a frequent basis. To be able to do that constructively, the relationship between the divorced parents should be good. This is not so difficult if the subject of your new relationship is the well-being of your children.

Divorce Parenting plan

In most cases, the judge requires a divorce parenting plan in writing that has been approved by both parents before accepting joint custody. A parenting plan describes where the children reside when, where they go to school, where they will stay during the Holidays, how transition between the 2 houses will be done and more. For more details: Parenting Plan

Every child has 2 parents

Remember this when you try to keep your child away from his other parent. Also if you completely disagree with the lifestyle and opinions of your ex, it is still the father of your children. Your children will see and understand the differences between both of you as well as the shortcomings.

Keeping your children away form your ex without having a very good reason, will backfire sooner or later. Your children have the rights to have both of their parents.

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