Minimising the Negative Impacts of Divorce on Children
AspectLaw | June 15, 2022
Divorce is a torturous process to go through because of all the legal proceedings and the emotional turmoil one must endure. Aside from the divorcing parties, the innocent children of the marriage will be subjected to emotional and mental anguish during a divorce as well. As our Mr. Ryan Yu often puts it, often or not, it is the child(ren) of the marriage that are the true victims of a divorce. Many times, children may not appear to be affected by the divorce, but the truth is that they, too, feel the effects of divorce and may suffer from the consequences even as adults.
There are a few things parents can do to make the divorce process less taxing on themselves and more importantly, on their children. Read on to learn more.
It is common for divorcing parties to speak negatively about one another throughout the divorce process, even in the presence of their children. However, speaking negatively about the other parent can have a significant impact on your child because they can understand what is being said. When one parent speaks badly about the other, children of the marriage may internalise those words and think that they, too, exhibit these negative characteristics. Furthermore, the hostility, negative words, and body language can also cause feelings of fear and anxiety in your child.
One way to prevent your child from being affected by the divorce is to reduce conflict. You can keep your discussions away from your child and avoid saying too much or speaking negatively about each other in front of them.
Additionally, children of the marriage will want to please both parents and would prefer that both parents stay together. So, no matter what, do not force your child to choose between parents. All discussions about the child’s custody, care and control, and access should take place between parents and be kept private. Forcing your child to make a decision will only make them feel helpless and stressed.
Divorcing parties may also consider going for mediation or counselling programmes provided by the Singapore Mediation Centre, or ordered by the Singapore Courts, to come to an agreement on multiple issues.
Simplify the Divorce Process
Singapore’s divorce process takes two routes — contested and uncontested (simplified).
During a contested divorce, divorcing parties must go through lengthy processes and attend court hearings in order for the court to decide whether to dissolve the marriage and how to divide matrimonial assets. Children of the marriage may have to continue living with uncertainty for the entire duration of the case.
In an uncontested divorce, also known as a simplified divorce, the proceedings move quickly and easily and can be concluded in as little as 3 to 4 months. Both parties and the children involved can then be allowed to quickly move on with their lives, reducing the emotional and mental burden on everyone.
Proper Parenting Plans
If there is no abuse involved in the marriage, most children would wish to continue seeing both parents even after the divorce. This is why a proper co-parenting plan must be drafted to allow both of you to contribute positively and equally to not just your child’s growth and development, but also allow your child to continue meeting both parents frequently.
The co-parenting plan should include information about the child’s living arrangements, the access arrangements for the parent who does not have care and control of the child, as well as other plans related to how the child will be taught and cared for until adulthood. Prioritise your child’s needs and make decisions in your child’s best interest instead of your own needs and wants.
Singapore’s divorce process will undoubtedly affect the children of the marriage no matter what you do to mitigate the effects. However, it is still important to put in the effort to minimise the negative impacts such that they will not have to suffer in the long run — your child will be able to heal from the incident a lot faster, and may feel less uncertain or anxious about their life after your divorce.
While your children need plenty of support during the divorce process, you should not disregard your own needs during this time. Engage the services of a family lawyer in Singapore and let the experienced one handle all the legal paperwork for you.
Aspect Law Chambers is led by a team of professional family lawyers in Singapore with the expertise to help you get through a divorce case smoothly and pleasantly. Contact us today for legal assistance.
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